16 March 2012
I made a trip to Anton & Anton in Kruununhaka yesterday and ended up buying a kilo of cockles. I have tasted them a couple of times in a restaurant I've worked at somewhere (Australia?) but never had I bought them or cooked them. Luckily I have my chef who knew what to do, and that was a creamy pasta vongole. The pasta should really have been linguine but we had pappardelle, and I forgot to get herbs - flatleaf parsley would have really nailed it here. But even without the parsley this must have been one of the best things I have eaten in a while - thank you chef!
Serves 4, or two very hungry people in our case
1 kg cockles (sydänsimpukka in Finnish)
Garlic, 2 cloves, chopped finely
Celery, 1-2 sticks, chopped finely
Shallot onion, finely chopped
Dry white wine, 1-2 dl
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
Salt and Pepper
Pasta - linguine or spaghetti,50 g per person is enough
1. Cockles are full of gritty sand. To get rid of the sand place the cockles in a bowl of cold water in the fridge up to 24 hours before cooking. When you're ready to cook, remove the cockles carefully from the bowl and rinse under running water in a sieve. Discard all open cockles, which do not close when tapped (this means they should be alive before cooking).
2. Cook the pasta by the package instructions.
3. Heat up oil in a (very) large saucepan, sautee the garlic, shallot and celery until soft. (Fennel would work here as well). Heat up to high temperature again and add cockles and the white wine as well as the lemon zest. Place a lid on the pan, shake occasionally. Wait until all the cockles are opened, add cream, reduce for a 2 minutes. Finally add the drained pasta and some flatleaf parsley if you were smarter than me and bought some. Discard unopened cockles. Plate, eat and enjoy!
(There might still be some sand so try not to scrape the bottom of the pan or your plate and chew carefully!)
We had sparkling water with the pasta as we both are working for the evening but as a wine recommendation I would go with something dry and mineralic ; Chablis, Sancerre, Muscadet etc.