Years ago I came across this recipe in the Seattle Times and fell in love with it. On a visit to Fairbanks, Alaska, I introduced it to my mother and it soon became one of her favorites. Years later, in a move from Fairbanks to Anchorage, Alaska, my collection of clipped recipes was lost. We've been making it from memory, but it never tasted the same. Thanks to the Internet I have found it again. Guess what's for dinner tonight.
1. Put ½ cup olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet and heat slowly. Add the dried chili pepper, chopped onion and garlic cloves. Cook slowly for about 30 minutes or until the onions are very soft.
2. Add to pan the basil, oregano, salt and pepper, wine and liquid from the clams. Continue to simmer until some of the liquid is reduced down. Keep warm. In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms in a tablespoon of butter and add to the mixture.
3. Bring kettle of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook spaghetti until just al dente.
4. As pasta is cooking, add the clams, parsley and 3 tablespoons of cheese to the sauce and simmer at low heat for about 5 minutes. Add olives and pimento, if desired.
5. After draining the pasta, stir into the sauce and toss. Sprinkle generously with grated cheese and serve directly from the skillet.