Purge the vongole or cockles. Put the vongole or cockles to boil with the wine. When they are open drain them, strain and reserve the liquor. Reject half the shells and rinse the cockles to remove any remaining sand. Fry the garlic, rosemary and half the fennel until the garlic is golden. Add the tomato paste and fry until shiny, pour in the reserved cooking liquor. Let the sauce cook until it gets to a thick consistency. Add the cockles to the sauce, season with salt, pepper and chilli to taste, stir in the remaining fennel. Serve as part of an antipasto di mare.
© 1993 Ann and Franco Taruschio. All rights reserved.