Makes 8 servings
- 5 pounds cockles or any other small fresh clams
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 fresh green garlic stalks, coarsely chopped, or 3 scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped, combined with 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup medium-grain polished rice
- Juice of 2 large lemons
1. Place the clams in a large basin filled with water and soak all day, changing the water frequently to rid them of as much sand as possible. Place in a large soup pot and add water to cover by 4 inches. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat as soon as the shells have opened. Drain the clams in a colander set over a large bowl to catch the broth. Let the clams cool slightly and remove from their shells, discarding any clams whose shells haven’t opened.
2. Heat the olive oil in the soup pot and cook the fresh garlic or the scallions and garlic over medium heat, stirring, until wilted, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Strain the broth through cheesecloth to catch any remaining sand and pour back into the soup pot. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper, and add the rice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Add the clams back to the pot and season with the lemon juice. Simmer until the clams are heated through. Remove from the heat and serve.