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Chunky, Spicy Tomato and Clam Broth tossed with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Lately I've been craving Manhattan Clam Chowder.  I mean, probably for a good three months (actually on and off for about a year) I've been craving it.  How could I actually wait that long? As of yet, I still haven't made any.  Why?  I can't really think of any decent reasons...but plenty of solid excuses come to mind.  I'm too busy (making other kinds of soup).  I wanted to make it with fresh clams next time (and haven't been able to find any in my city near the Great Lakes).  I'm just too lazy (period).  I don't know.  It was actually my very first post here on girlichef...a post that's sad and lonely and sorely lacking in technique and photography skills (but dearly cherished for what it is)...and I want to do a bang-up job when I finally post it again. 

Get to the point, you say?  Fine.  I was craving something with clams and fiery heat, so I went with the clams available to me (jarred) and created a quick, simple broth that is still packed with flavor and big chunks of tomato and clam...and tossed with pasta.  I used crushed chiles de arbol.  A LOT of them.  Little beads of moisture dotted our foreheads and upper lips by the time we sat back with satisfied grins and happy bellies.
Chunky, Spicy Tomato and Clam Broth 
tossed with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
from the kitchen of girlichef
makes ~4 svgs.

6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti, uncooked
olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, peeled & sliced paper thin
1-2 tsp. crushed chiles de arbol (or other hot red chile flakes)
1 (14.5 oz.) can Red Gold Diced Tomatoes w/ Basil, Garlic, & Oregano
1 (10 oz.) jar whole baby clams w/ the juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it liberally and cook spaghetti until al dente.

In the meantime, heat a big glug of olive oil in a large, deep skillet with sloped sides (or a wok).  Add onions and sauté until softened and just starting to get golden on the edges.  Add the garlic and crushed red chiles, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes.  Pour in the whole can of tomatoes and the whole jar of baby clams.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  
When the pasta is done, scoop out about a half a cup of the pasta cooking water and add it to the pan with the broth.  Drain pasta and add it to the pan, as well.  Toss and allow to simmer for another couple of minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with a simple green salad (to cool the fire from the broth) and a loaf of crusty bread for mopping up the juices.
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This is my entry into Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge: Canned Tomatoes which is sponsored by Red Gold.

Also sending to Claire at Chez Cayenne who is hosting PPN this week.
PrestoPastaNights
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