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Topneck Clam Sauce (Pasta Con le Arselle)

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(Recipe ID: 942)

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 30 minutes

Source: Vito De Carolis

In this recipe, pasta is served with a sauce made with fresh topneck clams and tomatoes.


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  • 1.1 pound Dry Pasta * *
  • 2 pounds Topneck Clams
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Extra Virgin Olive Oil * *
  • 1 pound Ripe Plum Tomatoes, blanched, peeled, unseeded and diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, lightly squeezed
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil * *
  • to taste Fine Sea Salt * *
  • green pepper* fresh ground *
  • 1 1/2 gallons Cold Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Coarse Sea Salt * *


  1. Rinse topneck clams well and put in a large pot, adding one of the squeezed garlic clove and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, cover with a lid and cook over high heat, shaking the pot often so all shellfish open at about the same time 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Remove topneck clams meat and reserve.
  3. Warm 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over low heat; add the other garlic clove and fry until lightly brown, then remove it.
  4. Add diced tomato and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes then add reserved topneck clams and parsley and cook for 5 minutes more.  Adjust seasoning with fine salt and pepper and simmer while the pasta is cooking to "al dente", stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 1 1/2 gallons of water to a rolling boil.
  6. Add the coarse sea salt (4 tablespoons), then add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  7. Drain well in a colander (reserving 1 cup of the pasta water to adjust the sauce).
  8. Add pasta to the sauce and the extra virgin olive oil, mix well to combine ingredients, cook for 1 minute add reserved pasta water if needed and serve.

Suggested shape of pasta to use with this sauce:
Spaghetti, Tagliatelle, Gnocchi, or Strozzapreti

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