Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

A favorite Italian wedding of ingredients, this linguine with red clam sauce calls for fresh littleneck clams in their shells as well as for making your own sauce. More exciting to look at than a standard chopped-clam sauce, you could serve this either as an entree, or in smaller portions as a first course followed by grilled fish and a summer salad. For dessert, stay in the warm-weather mode by serving fresh blueberries with lemon sorbet.

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large red bell peppers, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine or canned chicken broth
1 can (16 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
1 can (8 ounces) no-salt-added tomato sauce
8 ounces linguine
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed

1 In a Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the bell peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
2 Stir in the wine and bring to a simmer. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and transfer to large serving bowl.
4 Add the clams to the sauce, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, until the clams open, 10 to 12 minutes. (Discard any clams that do not open.) Pour the sauce and clams over the pasta.

Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 406 calories, 6.7g total fat (0.8g saturated), 28mg cholesterol, 6.6g dietary fiber, 63g carbohydrate, 22g protein, 384mg sodium.