When I go to southern Italy this is one of the pasta dishes that I particularly enjoy, and it’s so simple and quick to make.

Serves 4


50ml olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

½ a large onion, finely chopped

¾ of a fresh chilli, cut into small dice

400g cockles and clams

400g mussels

20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

30ml white wine (e.g. sauvignon blanc)

320g tagliatelle

1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Extra virgin olive oil


Heat the olive oild in a large frying pan, add the garlic and fry gently for 1 minute. Addd the onion and chilli and cook slowly for about 3 minutes. Add the cockles, clams, mussels, cherry tomatoes and white wine, bring to the boil, then place a lid on the pan and cook until the tomatoes start to break down and the cockles and clams open.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salad water – add a drop of olive oil to the water, and use a pasta basket if you have one. Once, the pasta is cooked, drain it and add to the frying pan. Add the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, mill over some freshly cracked pepper and serve from the pan.

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