Tom Valenti, the chef at Manhattan's Butterfield 81, has a knack for transforming a classic dish with one or two powerful flavors. The ingredients can be prepared the night before and combined just before serving.
- For Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped Spanish onion
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (28 ounces) peeled whole plum tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped marjoram
- 1 bay leaf
- For Sausages:
- 1 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed, sausages cut into 1 inch pieces
- For Pasta:
- 1 pound short tubular pasta, such as ditalini or tubetti
- For Clams:
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 dounceen small clams, scrubbed and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
FOR SAUCE: Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery and half of the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme, marjoram and bay leaf, cover partially and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
FOR SAUSAGES: Heat a large skillet. Add the sausages and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a dish.
FOR PASTA: In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente.
Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again.
FOR CLAMS: In a large saucepan, heat the wine with the remaining garlic. Add the clams, cover and cook over moderately high heat until they open, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a bowl and let cool, then remove the clams from their shells. Strain the cooking liquid, leaving behind any grit.
TO SERVE: Reheat the tomato sauce in a large saucepan. Add the sausages and cook over moderate heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta, clam liquid and crushed red pepper and reheat thoroughly, about 8 minutes. Add the clams and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
MAKE AHEAD: The recipe can be prepared ahead of time up to the serving step. Refrigerate the clams in their cooking liquid and the other components separately for up to 1 day.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
667 calories; 30g total fat; 70mg cholesterol; 788mg sodium; 70g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 27g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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