8 to 12 littleneck or other small clams in the shell, scrubbed

¼ pound spaghetti

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ to 1 clove garlic, minced

½ dried red chili pepper or ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

⅓ cup Noilly Prat or other vermouth or white wine

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley


Step 1

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, soak clams in cold water.

Step 2

Add spaghetti to boiling water, and cook until slightly underdone; pasta will finish cooking in sauce. Meanwhile, place a large saucepan over medium-low heat, and add olive oil, garlic and chili pepper. Sauté gently, reducing heat if necessary so garlic does not brown.

Step 3

Add vermouth and clams, and cover. Clams should open in about 2 minutes. (If pasta is ready first, drain it and toss with a small amount of olive oil.) Add hot drained pasta, cover, and shake pot gently. Allow to simmer for another 1 or 2 minutes until it is done to taste.

Step 4

Discard any clams that have not opened. Add half the parsley, and shake pan to distribute evenly. Transfer to a plate or bowl, and sprinkle with remaining parsley