Pasta with Clams in Garlic and Wine

NOTE: Remember, I’m cooking for 6, and three of those 6 are teenage boys…

About 48 fresh littleneck clams
1 1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup clam juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
cayenne pepper
6 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 pounds pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves

1. Boil pasta…no, I’m not going to include boiling instructions for pasta here.  Call me conceited.

2. Bring clams, wine and cayenne to boil in large covered chef pan or covered skillet.  Shake and boil about 3-5 minutes, just until they begin to open up a bit.  With a slotted spoon, remove clams and place in bowl. Strain liquid through a paper towel-lined strainer and reserve.  Add enough water to make 2 cups.  Set aside.

3. In same pan, heat oil and garlic and saute garlic until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, raise heat to high, and saute another 2 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften.  Add clams and cover; cook until all the clams open completely, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

4. Quickly add drained pasta and reserved clam liquid to the pan, combine for 30 seconds, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour into serving platter and top with fresh herbs.

Don’t forget the Chuck Your Shells Here bowl for the middle of the table…

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