|Provencal Mussels, Clams & Shells
1 pound mussels
1 pound littleneck clams
Fine sea salt
2 pints grape or small cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, shaved
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
15 leaves fresh basil, divided
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 pound conchigliette rigate pasta, (conch shells) or shells similar in sized to the shellfish you are using
Freshly cracked black pepper.
Place the mussels and clams in a large bowl of water and ice with 1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Leave for 1 hour. The mussels and clams will spit out any sand. Lift the seafood out of the water, and rinse. Discard any open shells.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, and salt it well.
Pulse together the tomatoes in a food processor until almost complete pureed. In a braising pot, add the oil and heat over low heat. Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, and 12 basil leaves, torn. Add the sugar and red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook covered at a low simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid, and increase the heat to medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes to reduce slightly, if necessary.
Add the pasta to the boiling water. Add the clams to the tomato sauce, and cover. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the mussels to the clams, and cover, continuing to cook over medium heat until all the seafood has opened. Drain the pasta when it is al dente.
Toss the pasta with the seafood and sauce, and cook an addition 1 to 2 minutes on low so the pasta can soak up the sauce. Drizzle with extra olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
adapted from http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/01/french-in-a-flash-provencal-mussels-and-clams-over-shells-recipe.html