4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium-size dried chipotle peppers, soaked in ½ cup boiling water, drained, minced with skin and seeds
2 tablespoons minced capers
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 heaping tablespoon green olive paste or tapenade
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 large yellow onions, quartered
2 lemons, sliced into rings
7 or 8 bay leaves
1 pound spaghettini
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup olive oil
2 pounds Manila clams
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Fill 2 large pots with water and bring them to a boil, one for the pasta and one for the clams.
2. While the water is boiling, prepare the ingredients for the sauce. In a bowl, combine the garlic, chipotle peppers, capers, anchovy paste, green olive paste, oregano and thyme.
3. When the water for the clams boils, add the quartered onions, sliced lemons, and bay leaves. When the water for the pasta boils, add the spaghettini and sea salt, and stir. From here, timing is essential; it is important for the 3 separate processes (clams, spaghettini, sauce) to be ready simultaneously, but whereas the pasta takes 5 to 7 minutes to cook, the clams and sauce need only to be heated for 4 minutes.
4. When approaching serving time, heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and sauté the garlic-herb mixture. Now add the clams to the boiling lemon water and stir. Sauté the sauce and cook the clams for 4 minutes- you’ll know they’re ready when the shells open widely. Do not overcook the clams! Drain the clams in a colander, remove the bay leaves and lemon slices, and add the clams to the sauce, turning off the heat. Stir together to evenly distribute the flavors, and cover.
5. When the pasta is done just al dente, drain the pasta and mix the sauce, pasta, and parsley together very well. If the pasta seems a bit dry (as it can soak up the moisture of the sauce), you can drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil into it while mixing. Serve hot as a main course.
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