Pasta with Clams “Essenziale Style” (done in the essential way)

Ingredients

Essenziale Sauce
(Garlicky olive oil with red pepper flakes)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, whole
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 pound pasta, linguini or spaghetti
2 pounds clams
2 cups chicken stock or pasta water
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

Serves 4-6

Make the Essenziale sauce.

Add the extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic cloves to a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until it starts to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest for one hour at least, so that all the flavors will mingle, then strain the sauce.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook two minutes less than the directions given on the package. (We will finish cooking the pasta in the sauce.)

Add half cup of the essenziale sauce to a large sauté’ pan and cook over medium high heat for two minutes or until it starts to sizzle. Add the clams and chopped parsley and stir well.

Add in the water or chicken stock and cook until all the clams have opened. Toss any clams that did not open.

There should be enough salt in the clams but add salt and pepper to taste if you like it saltier.

Add the pasta to the clam sauce and cook, stirring well, for two more minutes.

Plate the pasta with clams in a bowl and serve it with a smile.

Chef’s Tip:

The remaining Essenziale sauce can be used as cooking oil for steaks, chicken, lamb or even for sautéing veggies. It is full of flavor; the infused olive oil brings a new dimension in flavor. Mix it with a bit of vinegar to make a great salad dressing!