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    Spaghetti with Cockles

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    Spaghetti with Cockles

    Serves: 4


    • 1.5kg fresh cockles
    • 3 shallots, finely sliced
    • 200ml Chambéry or other dry vermouth
    • 400g spaghetti
    • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 8 slices back bacon, finely diced
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
    • Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated


    1. Wash the cockles under cold water. Discard any that are broken or refuse to close when lightly tapped. Put the shallots and vermouth in a wide saucepan and set over a high heat. As soon as it comes to the boil, add a single layer of cockles and cover. Cook for 1-2 minutes, quickly transferring them to a large bowl as they open. Discard any that do not fully open. Repeat the process until they are all cooked. Remove them from their shells, then cover and chill until needed.
    2. Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. About 5 minutes before it is ready, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the bacon.
    3. As soon as it begins to crisp, add the garlic, followed by the chilli flakes. Fry for a minute, then stir in the cooked cockles, parsley and lemon zest. Add lemon juice to taste.
    4. Drain the pasta, add a twist or two of freshly ground black pepper and toss with the cockle sauce. Serve immediately.

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