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Linguini With Clam And Tomato Broth

Chewy Italian pasta in a tasty broth of clams, garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil and butter

12-16 small live clams, or PanaPesca clams
1/2 pound imported Italian linguini or Fettuccini
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
14 oz can of San Marzano Italian tomatoes, crushed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
10-12 ounce baby or chopped clams in clam broth
1/2 cup fresh basil, julienne
2 tablespoon butter

Soak clams and brush clean in several changes of water with plenty of dissolved sea or Kosher salt, give them some time to spit out all their sand – or use PanaPesca fresh-frozen clams right from the package. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

In a large, heavy pot, sauté shallots and garlic in oil until golden. Crush tomatoes and carefully add along with the crushed red pepper and cleaned whole clams (the clam broth from your baby or chopped clams can be strained through a coffee filter and added for a richer clam flavor). Boil uncovered and remove the clams to a plate as they open (or heat PanaPesca clams through). Cover the steamed clams to keep warm. Add the baby or chopped clams to the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Drain pasta and reserve some of the boiling water. Add the pasta to the clam and tomato broth along with 2 TBS olive oil or butter. Using two spoons or spatulas, gently and patiently toss the pasta with the sauces. Simmering a few moments to marry, adding some of the reserved boiling water if the pasta ‘drinks’ too much of your stock.

Transfer to a warmed serving platter or plates and decorate with the whole clams, lemon zest and fresh minced parsley or basil leaves.

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