Linguine con le Vongole (with clams)

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3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound New Zealand cockles or 24 Manila clams, scrubbed and rinsed
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup canned plum tomatoes, roughly chopped with their juices
1 Tbsp hot red pepper flakes
1 pound linguine
½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley

Bring 8 quarts of water to boil in a large pasta pot and add 3 tablespoons salt.

In a 14 to 16 inch skillet, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat until the garlic is golden brown. Add the clams, wine, tomatoes, and pepper flakes, cover and cook 7 to 8 minutes, until all the clams have just opened.

Meanwhile, drop the pasta into the salted water and cook accordingly to the package directions to 1 minute shirt of al dente. It should be quite firm. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander and pour colander and pour immediately into the skillet with the clams. Cook over high heat for 45 seconds. Stir in the parsley, add some of the reserved pasta water if the pasta seems too dry, and serve in a large bowl.

(Mario)

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