An easy and elegant one-saute pan meal with minimal preparation and beautiful presentation. The pepper flakes gives this dish an extremely mild heat, and the pancetta incorporates a smooth, mild bacon flavor. The shallot (a.k.a an onion with a college education) imparts a slightly sweet flavor that compliments the cockles and counterbalances the pancetta.
1 package linquine
2 lbs fresh cockles, or any type of clam such as Little Necks or PEI's, cleaned. Discard any open clams.
2 slices raw pancetta (each about 1/3 inch thick), sliced into small pieces
1 medium shallot
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1/2 cup good white wine
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 medium bunch fresh parsley, stemmed and chopped
2 pats butter
salt for pasta water
fresh pepper to taste
Cook linquine according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In your Cuisinart five-quart saute pan, saute the shallot, red pepper flakes, and pancetta in olive oil on medium heat, approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the wine and half of the parsley. Cook until alcohol burns off, aprox. five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cockles and butter. Cover and cook until the cockles open wide. Lower heat, uncover and add linquini. Add remaining parsley and pepper to taste. Toss well and plate.