Arrabbiata is 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.
Will frozen shucked clams do? What about canned clams? They can be substituted but the overall flavor of the cooked dish will not be the same.
The thing about fresh clams is how they release their unique briny flavor the moment they get in contact with heat. You won’t get that from clams that had already been separated from their shells.
Pasta arrabbiata with fresh 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
- pinch oregano
- 2 tablespoons sliced black olives - drained
- 1 tablespoon capers - drained
- 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ kilogram 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.