It’s customary in my family to prepare seafood for Christmas Eve dinner. Not quite the traditional seven courses but I make around three or four dishes because not everyone in the family is fond of seafood. The first course is always a pasta dish. Pasta with red clam sauce is quick and easy to prepare for the occasion. It’s a great dish to serve anytime.
Linguine with Red Clam Sauce
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 4 servings.
1 pound linguine pasta
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon tomato paste (1/2 can about 3-ounces)
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 (10-ounce) can whole baby clams
16 little neck clams, scrubbed clean
Additional chopped parsley for garnish
MAKE THE SAUCE: Pour the tomatoes in a bowl and crush with your hands. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
Stir in the tomatoes,
tomato paste, wine, parsley, rosemary, oregano, black pepper, and red pepper
flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook 15
minutes, stirring occasionally.
BRING WATER TO BOIL: While the tomato mixture is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
ADD CLAMS TO SAUCE: Add the clams to the tomato mixture and cook for 15 minutes longer, until little neck clams open. Season with salt and pepper while cooking.
COOK THE PASTA: After adding the clams to the sauce, add pasta to the salted water and cook to “al dente.” Drain pasta and set aside.
SERVE THE PASTA: Place pasta on a large platter or serving bowl and toss with sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.