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Linguini with Clams in Red Sauce

Linguini with Red Clam Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 lb linguine
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan (EVOO)
  • 1 (2 ounce) can flat anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, eyeball it in your palm
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves (a couple of pinches)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (one-third palmful)
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (a couple of glugs)
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans baby clams, in juice, 1 can drained
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (2 handfuls)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook until al dente. When the pasta is done, drain well, then return to hot pot with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of dried basil, and a little garlic butter - toss well and keep warm until serving.
2. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the EVOO (3 turns of the pan) and the anchovies and cook until the anchovies melt into the oil.
3. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the onion, raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the wine and cook 1 minute, then stir in the clams with their juice plus the drained clams. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute to concentrate the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste (be sure to taste the sauce before seasoning it; there's so much salt in the anchovies and clams that you may not need to add any).
4. Add the sauce to the pasta. Add half the parsley and toss. Adjust the salt and pepper and plate. Garnish it with the remaining parsley and a little lemon zest.