A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!
1. Put a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt and when the water has returned to a boil, pour in the pasta. Cook for about 15 minutes, until pasta is tender and just chewy in the centre (el dente). Drain and toss with Red Clam Sauce.
For the Red Clam Sauce:
1. Brown bacon and onions in a medium sized saucepan. When the bacon has rendered it’s fat, and the onions are beginning to brown, add garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, clams and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Stir in basil leaves and adjust seasoning just before serving.