Today we make Pasta with red clam sauce, the red brother of spaghetti alle vongole.
1 Lb Spaghetti
1 28 oz Can Whole Peeled Tomatoes, Passed through a food mill
2 - 2 1/2 lbs of Little Neck Clams
4-6 cloves of Garlic, Sliced
1 Cup Dry White Wine
Red Chili Flake, to taste
Sea Salt, to taste
Enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat the pan
Bring a pot of water to a boil and a generous amount of salt.
The first step is to clean the clams, they usually come with lots of grit to them. You can rinse them under water until they barely shed any grit, or you can soak them in salt for 20 minutes to help the purge some of the grit. Drain and set aside for when they are needed.
Slice the garlic, run the tomatoes through a food mill and then gather all the ingredients and bring them over to the stove.
In a large pan, add the oil, garlic and chili flake and cook for a minute or two or until the garlic begins to brown.
Add the clams, but lower the heat a bit because the clams might have water on them, and adding it to the hot oil can cause a splatter. Once the clams are in the pan, add the wine and turn the heat back up and bring to a boil and then cover with a lid.
Let the clams steam until you see them start to open up. When that happens, remove the lid and begin to fish out the opened clams, ensure they are perfectly cooked. Add them to a bowl that has a strainer in it so you can reserve the liquid that drains off and add it back to the sauce. If any clams don’t open, they are dead and need to be discarded.
Once the clams are all cooked, bring the clams juice, wine, and oil mixture back up to a boil and reduce for a minute or two. Lower the heat and then add the tomatoes. Lowering the heat will prevent and splattering. Get the heat back cup, bring it to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer and cook that until the sauce reduces to the right sauce consistency. Add fresh basil.
While the sauce cooks, shuck the clams from the shell and then roughly chop them all up and scoop them back into a bowl and reserve them to add back into the sauce at the end.
Once the sauce thickens, remove the basil and then cook the pasta.
Spaghetti usually cooks in about 10 minutes, so I cook the pasta for 8-9 minutes in the water and then drain the pasta, add it to the tomatoes, add the chopped clams and cook it for 1-2 minutes in the sauce until perfectly al dente.
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