Sunday Pasta®:Spaghetti alle Vongole al Pomodori (Clams and Tomatoes)
Total Time:30 minutes
1 pound spaghetti
3 pounds of clams, scrubbed well (or 1-15 ounce can whole baby clams)
1/4 cup of olive oil
1–26 ounce can Italian tomatoes (chopped or diced)
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper (optional)
If using live clams, remove any clams that are broken, or which do not close immediately if tapped. (I prefer smaller clams if you can find them, but not the tiny ones.) Place in a large skillet and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells open (discarding any clam with a shell that does not open).
In another large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the garlic until golden. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Add salt and pepper.
Remove the clams from the skillet with a slotted spoon and remove them from their shells. Place the clams into the skillet with the tomatoes.
Add some of the remaining liquid from the clams. (If using canned clams, add the entire contents to the tomato sauce.) Cook together for a few more minutes until slightly reduced.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until al dente (2 minutes less than package recommends). Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the clams.
Serve immediately, evenly distributing the clams.
Sprinkle with crushed red pepper for a little kick.