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Spicy Clams with Tomatoes

The clams used in Sicily for this dish are tiny vongole veraci. American littleneck clams are too sandy and tough to use here, but the small ridged clams called cockles are perfect.

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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 medium plum tomatoes?peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds cockles, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat until they begin to break down, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil and let reduce by half. Add the cockles and cook over high heat, stirring, until they open, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley over the cockles and serve immediately.

Serve With

Toasted peasant bread rubbed with garlic.

Suggested Pairing

A light, crisp, aromatic white, such as a blend of Catarratto and Trebbiano, will tame the kick of the crushed red pepper.

Contributed By Photo © Anna Williams Published April 2003

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