Red Clam Sauce With Linguine

2 10 oz. cans whole baby clams, drained and reserving ¼ to ½ cup clam nectar
1 dozen fresh baby neck clams – optional
olive oil cooking spray
4 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 28-oz. can chopped roma or regular tomatoes or 2 lb. fresh tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
¼ cup white or light bodied red wine
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
10 oz. linguine noodles cooked without butter or salt
6 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese – optional

Lightly spray a large non-stick skillet or Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat on medium for 2 to 3 minutes. Sauté garlic, onions together until onions are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, reserved clam nectar and salt to onion mixture and bring to gentle boil stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce 30 minutes to an hour.

While sauce is simmering, heat 3 to 4 cups of water to a boil. Add fresh clams, cover, reduce heat to low and steam 5 to 7 minutes or until most of the clams have opened. Drain well, discarding any unopened clams and set aside in a covered dish to keep warm. Increase heat to medium again and add drained clams to sauce and cook an additional 3 minutes or until all ingredients are heated through. Do not over cook clams as they will become tough. Add olive oil and fresh basil to sauce stir to combine then adjust seasonings if necessary and remove from heat.

Combine sauce with drained pasta and toss gently. Top pasta with whole clams in shell and serve immediately with fresh grated cheese.

Yield: 6 – approximately 1 ½ cups pasta with 1 ½ cups sauce with two tablespoons cheese each at approximately 425 calories; 8.5 grams total fat 3 grams saturated fat; 56 milligrams cholesterol; 52 grams carbohydrate; 3.7grams dietary fiber; 31 grams protein; 621 milligrams sodium.

Compare traditional recipe at 542 calories and 19.5 grams total fat vs 425 calories and 8.5 grams total fat.

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