This is the French version of pasta alle vongole, the Italian dish that tastes so seductively of the sea. It is made with cockles, which are abundant along the shores of northern France and England, among other places. If they are not available in your region, try substituting other small clams — the smaller they are, the more tender they will be. In this recipe, the cockles are sautéed in butter and garlic, then steamed open in white wine. The cooking goes so quickly that you need to get your spaghetti going before starting with the cockles. When both are done, you combine them together, sprinkle with parsley — et voilà! A delicious meal in less than 15 minutes.
Spaghettis aux coques / Spaghetti with small clams
Now here’s some news about this web site. It’s been up and running for just over two weeks and, having finally managed to get the statistics working, I can happily report that we have reached 150 visits a day. Many thanks to all of you for that. Where are the visitors coming from? Quite a few from Facebook, unsurprisingly. But another group of visitors is arriving via the site of my friend Martin Walker, a journalist turned novelist who spends part of each year in the Dordogne region of southwest France and who has kindly posted a link to ‘The Everyday French Chef’ on his homepage.
Martin’s site, brunochiefofpolice.com, was created in connection with his series of detective novels starring a friendly and canny Dordogne policeman named Bruno — who also loves to cook. The site is full of great regional recipes. I suggest you take a look at the new video showing the TV chef Keith Floyd making a salad with fresh walnuts and hot goose giblets while aboard a small river craft, being buzzed by water skiiers. Very amusing, and the recipe looks great.
The Everyday French Chef will be back on Thursday. Happy cooking!