Cockle and Mussel tagliatelle


This is a very simple Sicilian style sauce for pasta. It eats very well with spaghetti or linguine as well as tagliatelle. Any type of shellfish or fish can be substituted just adjust the cooking times accordingly. This sauce can easily be converted into a very beautiful soup just add vegetable or chicken stock and simmer for 10mins and serve with crusty bread.


800g       mussels in their shells, scrubbed very well
800g       cockles in their shells, well scrubbed
100ml    white wine
Salt to taste
3tblsp    olive oil
1              onion, chopped
2              cloves of garlic, chopped
1              bunch of basil chopped
1              fresh chilli, deseeded and chopped
250g       fresh tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced
2tblsp    fresh parsley, chopped


Place the mussels into a large pan with the wine, salt and 1tblsp of olive oil. Place over high heat and cook until the cockles and mussels open. Transfer the mussels to a bowl and set aside. Straining over the liquid from the pan. When they are cool enough remove the meat from the cockles and mussels, place them in a bowl. Line a strainer with a piece of kitchen paper and strain the cooking liquid over them again. The double straining insures that all of the sand will be removed from the liquid. Allow them to sit in their juice while you make the sauce.

Place a pan over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil and the onion, cook until translucent. Add the garlic, basil and chilli and cook until a very pale gold. Add the mussels and their juice to the pan and cook until reduced by half add the tomatoes and parsley and cook stirring frequently for 3mins, adjust seasoning.

 Thoroughly toss the sauce with cooked spaghetti or linguine and serve.

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