This week, Rania Harris is in the Pittsburgh Today Live kitchen with a great recipe for a quick Christmas Eve dinner, as well as a traditional cookie recipe for your last-minute holiday baking!

Gemelli Pasta with Clams and Chiles

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4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red Bermuda onion – sliced
4 cloves of garlic – sliced
3 ounces prosciutto – diced
1 ½ pounds tiny clams (preferably little necks)
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 pinch saffron
1½ cups purchased Marinara sauce
1 tablespoon hot chili flakes
1 pound Gemelli pasta – cooked al dente
1 bunch stemmed Italian parsley – chopped
Salt to taste

In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and prosciutto and sauté until softened. Add clams, white wine, saffron, chicken stock and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.

Add cooked gemelli pasta to pot and heat through completely. Make sure that all of the clams have opened. Discard any un-opened clams. Add chili flakes and parsley. Season to taste with salt, if necessary.

Serve immediately.

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Serves: 6


1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup Crisco
1 lemon ~ juiced with finely grated rind
1 orange ~ juiced with finely grated rind
3 tablespoons anise oil
2 tablespoons anise seed
1 dozen eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 cups flour

In the bowl of a Cuisinart mixer, using the paddle attachment, blend Crisco and sugar. Add the lemon juice, lemon rind, orange juice and orange rind. Add the anise oil and anise seed. Add eggs and then add dry ingredients. Dough will be soft. Chill for a few hours before making. Pre-heat your electric pizelle iron and cook until lightly brown.

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Makes over 100 Pizelles.