Small Razor Shell and Cockle
I become quite nostalgic when I think of seafood in Italy. I think that seafood is one of those typical foods you crave when you go somewhere exotic.
In Venice, the best way to get around is by boat (this would seem logical as the island is made up of 150 canals.) For this reason, many Venetians own boats and on sunny days go out fishing or go out to get fresh seafood.
An increasingly common hunt is the 'cappelunghe' which are called 'razor shells' in English. These bastards live below the sand and leave a tiny hole behind them which helps you to catch them. The way to catch them is by sprinkling some salt onto the hole in the sand and waiting until you see the creature appear. Once it has, you pinch it's shell until the sea insect lets go.
The 'cockle' on the right hand side is the name given for these salt water clams which are very pricey and extremely delicious. 'Spaghetti alle Vongole' is a common pasta dish made out of clams and cockle are it's smaller brother (or sister.) Similarly to razor shells, they live in the sand and leave a mark whereby you can dig in the sand with your fingers and pull them out. They are commonly collected by raking them from the sands at low tide when you buy them from the fishmonger but it is a lot funner to catch them yourself.
Uncleaned mussels at the back of the boat
This recipe is extremely versatile.
We actually had mussels as well that we caught and cooked separately. If you would like to use mussels, I suggest cooking them separately first because a lot of water comes out.
You need to wash them and remove any 'beards' they have (these are small and thread like dangling from the mussels- just pull them off.)
Heat 2 chopped cloves of garlic in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and add the prepared mussels. Add a large splash of wine, allow to heat and then cover for 5 -10 minutes until the mussels have all opened up.
2 Tablespoons: Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Small Fresh Chilli Chopped (Optional)
OR a tsp. paprika (Optional)
1 Glass of Wine (175ml- think a small glass in a pub)
Large Handful of Parsley, Roughly Chopped
250g Cherry Tomatoes
2 cans chopped tomatoes
600g Small Razor Shells
Other Seafood: such as King Prawns or squid
Salt and Pep.
In a large pot, put your water on to boil for your pasta and add a large pinch of salt to your pasta water. Once the water has started boiling, add the linguine.
Separately in a large pan, fry your garlic and chilli, then add your seafood.
Add the chopped parley
Once you notice that you clams start to open up add the tomatoes and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste. Lots of salt and pepper.
Add the pasta to the seafood deliciousness. And also add a small splash of olive oil if feeling generous.
Feel happy to devour one of the most beautiful pasta dishes...