About this recipe:This popular trattoria dish is easily made at home. A classic tomato sauce, flavoured with chilli and fresh herbs in true Italian style, is delicious with clams, especially if tossed with perfectly cooked spaghetti. Serve with chunks of ciabatta bread and a green salad–and a glass of red wine.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes, crushing them down with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle in the basil, parsley and sugar and stir. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander.
Put the empty pasta pan back on the heat, add the clams and splash in the wine. Tip the pasta back into the pan. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. All the clam shells should have opened; discard any clams that remain shut.
Pour the tomato sauce into the spaghetti and clam mixture and stir and toss over the heat for 1–2 minutes or until it is all bubbling. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.