Friday, May 28, 2010

Linguine con Vongole Piccante Salsa (Linguini with Spicy Clam Sauce)

Linguine con Vongole Piccante Salsa
(Linguini with Spicy Clam Sauce)
serves 4
This is a spicy version of linguini with clam sauce, 1/2 a teaspoon of red pepper flakes will provide a mildly spicy dish but the temperature can be turned up by adding additional red pepper flakes during the cooking or you can serve with the recommended amount of red pepper flakes and serve it accompanied by additional red pepper flakes on the side so diners can control the spiciness themselves.


1 pound dry spaghetti or linguini

3 -  6 1/2-ounce cans minced or whole clams
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons softened butter
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (San Marzano tomatoes preferred), drained, and hand crushed
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, plus additional for garnish
Kosher or sea salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente stage.  Drain the pasta. and set aside.
2.  Drain the clams reserving 1/2 cup of the clam juice.
3.  In a large sautĂ© pan over medium heat bring the olive oil to the ripple stage and add the butter. When the butter melts add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, do not allow it to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and cook, stirring,  for 30 seconds more.
4.  Add the reserved clam juice and the crushed tomatoes.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
5.  When the clam juice/tomatoes come to a boil lower the heat to accomplish a gentle simmer, stir in the tomato paste, cover and cook the sauce at a simmer for 15 minutes.
6.  If there are large chunks of tomato still in the sauce and it's not to your liking, crush them using a potato masher to achieve the consistency you prefer.
7.  Stir the clams, basil, and parsley into the sauce. Bring back to a simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste.
8.  Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to combine evenly and to reheat the pasta.  
9.  For service either divide the sauced pasta among warmed service bowls garnished with additional chopped parsley or, for a family style service, plate the sauced pasta on a large service platter garnish with additional chopped parsley and serve.
Next Week's Posting: Risotto alla Milanese

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