(copied and pasted from Karen. Grazie!)
3 dozen top neck or 2 dozen cherrystone clams (preferably Long Island clams!)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves thinly sliced garlic
1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp (depending on taste and heat) crushed dried red pepper
½ cup diced ripe tomatoes plus ¼ cup juice from tomato
1/8 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. Basil chiffonade
¾ lb. – 1 lb. spaghetti (Martelli Brand J)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
- Set a large pot of salted water on the stove. Cover pot.
- Scrub clams in cold water to remove any sand or dirt.
- Turn burner on high under your large pot of water to bring to a boil.
- While pasta water is heating up, over a bowl, shuck clams reserving both clam meat and juice. Once finished, discard all clam shells.
- With a slotted spoon, remove clam meat from juice and place in a separate small bowl. Set both bowls aside.
- Place a large sauté pan on medium heat and add olive oil.
- Quickly add sliced garlic. Sauté for approximately 1 minute, stirring occasionally, then add crushed red pepper.
- Continue to sauté for another minute until garlic has just begun to acquire a light golden color. (Be careful not to burn the garlic.)
- Lower heat; add diced tomatoes and juice from tomato. Cook for approximately 3 minutes.
- Add pasta to boiling water. Stir pasta to make sure it doesn’t stick together.
- Once pasta is cooking, pour bowl of strained clam juice into sauté pan. Raise heat to medium high. Add ½ of the parsley and basil.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- While sauce is simmering, cut reserved clam meat. (A scissor works best.)
- Just about 4 minutes before the pasta is done (al dente), add the cut clam meat to the sauté pan and cover. Lower heat to medium low.
- Strain pasta in a colander and with a pair of tongs, start to add it to the clam sauce in the sauté pan. (It’s important not to add too much pasta – otherwise your sauce will be completely absorbed.) With tongs, toss pasta in the sauce until it’s thoroughly coated.
- Add the remaining parsley and basil. Drizzle a bit of good extra virgin olive oil if you want to.
- Serve immediately! Enjoy.
Recipe by Karen Lazarus DiScalfani. Inspiration for the recipe was provided by my husband, Robert DiScalfani, without whom, this would not be possible. He shucks the clams and I make the sauce!