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Linguini and Clams in Parchment

2-1/2 pounds clams, the smallest you can find
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 anchovy fillets, chopped
chopped fresh red chili pepper or dried red pepper flakes to taste
1-1/2 pounds fresh ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt to taste
1 pound linquini
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf italian parsley or regular parsley
Parchment paper

Soak the clams in cold water for 20 minutes to purge them of sand. Wash and scrub them well under cold running water. Discard any clams that stay open when handled or tapped. Put the clams in a large saucepan with 1 cup water. Cover the pan and cook over high heat until the clams open. Remove them to a bowl with slotted spoon as they open. Toss out any clams that do not open. Bring the cooking liquid back to a boil and cook until it is reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Line a strainer with paper towles and strain the thickened liquid into a small bowl to remove any sandy deposits. Set aside. Remove the clam meat from half of the shells, and leave the other clams in their shells. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic, anchovies and chili pepper, and stir once or twice. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and the reserved clam liquid. Season with salt and cook, stirring until liquid reduces by half, 2-3 minutes. (Do not reduce the liquid too much or the completed dish will be dry). Add all the clams and the parsley and mix quickly to combine them, Turn off the heat under the skillet. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linquini. cook uncovered, over high heat until the pasta is cooked only halfway through. Drain the pasta, add it to the skillet with the sauce, and mix everything well off the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Place 2 large sheets of parchment paper on a large baking sheet and brush each sheet lightly with oil. Divide the pasta between the 2 parchment sheets, placing it slightly off center. Fold the parchment over the pasta and fold the edges to make a border and seal the edges. Make sure not to wrap the bundles too tightly. There should be plenty of empty space around the pasta so the bundles can puff up as they cook. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Unwrap the parchment sheets and place pasta and every bit of sauce into serving dishes. Or if only two people. Put bundles on two large plates and let guest open the bundles when ready to eat. Serve at once.
Yields: 2 to 6 servings



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