Lavagnons (flat, gray shells) and cockles (ridged, beige shells) steaming in white wine.
The lavagnons are a local clam, very delicate in texture and flavor, and the coques are a little bigger and meatier. I thought that mixing them would be good for this dish, and it was. First, though, the mollusks had to be purged. Ken mixed up some water with sea salt and added about a tablespoon of semolina (cornmeal works as well). The shellfish sit in the water and begin filtering; any sand in their digestive systems is ejected while they ingest the semolina or cornmeal. After an hour or two, they're ready to cook.
The finished dish -- a nice change from the Christmas turkey. Dig in!
We steamed the shellfish in white wine with onion and garlic and some red pepper flakes. Once the shells had opened, we added cooked linguini and finished the dish off with chopped fresh parsley. What a feast!