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Baked Clams with Spaghetti

from The Seafood Cookbook , page 83

This is an easy dish to prepare for a large group. The anchovy paste and capers add a nice tang to the tomato sauce.


For the sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups crushed canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
4 Tablespoons drained capers
1 Tablespoon Cognac

For the clams and spaghetti:
36 medium-size littleneck clams
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional


For the sauce:

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté the garlic briefly without browning it. Add the tomatoes, oregano, hot pepper flakes, parsley, anchovy paste, and capers.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often from the bottom. Stir in the Cognac and set aside. Warm it up before adding to clams and spaghetti (see below).

For the clams and spaghetti:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large, deep pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

2. Meanwhile, open the clams with a clam knife and reserve 1 cup of the liquid. There should be about 2 cups of clams. Chop the drained clams coarsely.

3. Drop the spaghetti into the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes Drain immediately.

4. Transfer the spaghetti to a large baking dish and add the simmering sauce and the reserved clam juice. Sprinkle the chopped clams on top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and seal tightly. Bake for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the foil and transfer the contents of the dish to a hot platter or individual pasta bowls. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.


6 servings