If Alex could have her way, we’d probably have pasta every two to three days. But her father is not a huge fan of pasta so our pasta meals are less often than that. On days when we do have pasta, whether it’s me or Alex who does the cooking, we go all out. Like this clams pasta arrabbiata that I made for today’s lunch — bright and briny, and the spicy sauce made richer with the addition of capers and black olives. Alex works hard at producing content for the blog and I thought that a delicious pasta dish was a small reward for her efforts.
Alex producing content for the blog? Yes. Since January, she has cooked about half of the recipes that have been published here. Between her freelance theater / events gigs and her budding cupcake business, she cooks at home. But she doesn’t want to do the writing nor the photographing. That is still my domain.
Come to think of it, if I could document Sam’s baking projects, I’d have even more content for the blog. But when Sam is working in the kitchen, she tells everybody to scram. And when I ask her for her recipes, her reply has always been, “Secret.” That’s all right. She has her own budding food business too and I respect that she wants to keep her recipes secret.
And me? Do I have secret recipes too? Don’t we all? But I’m sharing the clams pasta arrabbiata recipe.
What is arrabbiata? It’s a spicy Italian tomato sauce. So, yes, this clams pasta arrabbiata is a little spicy but without drowning out the natural flavor of the clams. Olives and capers are not traditional ingredients of arrabbiata but they do add a lovely dimension to the flavor of the sauce.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- a pinch of dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons sliced black olives, drained
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- 1 and ½ cups chopped tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ kilo fresh clams, soaked and rinsed
- 120 grams pasta (any shape), cooked al dente
- chiffonaded basil, to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic, onion, chili flakes and oregano. Saute until fragrant.
- Add the olives and capers. Continue sauteeing for another minute.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and a little sugar. Simmer, covered, until reduced by a quarter. It takes about 10 minutes.
- Turn up the heat. Add the clams to the sauce. Stir. Cover the pan and cook just until the shells open.
- Turn off the heat. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Add the pasta to the clams and sauce. Toss well.
- Divide the clams pasta arrabbiata among three bowls. Garnish with chiffonaded basil and and serve.