2 kilograms cockles
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cured chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup white wine
1 x 400 gram tin cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x 400 gram tin Italian cherry tomatoes
300 grams orecchiette or other small dried pasta
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Soak the cockles in cold water for 10 minutes then drain. This ensures they purge any remaining sand.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or saucepan and cook the onion and chorizo sausage until the onion is tender. Add the garlic, wine and cockles, cover and cook until the cockles have opened. Discard any that remain closed. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes to heat through.
Pasta: Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling well salted water until al dente. Drain well and tip back into the saucepan. Tip in the cockles and parsley and gently combine. Transfer to a large bowl and serve with plenty of crusty bread for mopping up the juices.
Cook’s tip: If cockles aren’t available, use small mussels. Rinse in cold water and scrape off any barnacles with a knife. Pull off the beard with a sharp downwards tug.