Preparation / Directions:
Soak clams in cold fresh water. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Put the bay leaf, the wine, and the water in a large covered non-reactive skillet and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes Return to med-high heat and add clams. Cover.
Cook until you start to hear clams popping open - about 5 minutes Begin checking on clams every 30 seconds and remove clams to heated covered bowl as they open, replacing covers each time. If any clams have not opened after 10 minutes total cooking, discard them. When clams are done, pour all accumulated broth into a pitcher and set aside.
Put pasta in boiling water to begin cooking and set timer so that pasta will be slightly undercooked. Return skillet to moderate heat and add olive oil, garlic, flour, and half the minced herbs. Cook 2 - 5 minutes, but ***do not let the garlic even begin to brown.
Add about a cup of the clam broth. Stir with a whisk. Broth should thicken slightly into a thin sauce. Reduce or add more broth as necessary. Whisk in the creme fraiche and the hot sauce and bring just back to a simmer, then remove from heat. Toss with cooked pasta. Put pasta on heated bowls and surround with clams. Sprinkle generously with freshly-ground pepper and he other half of the herbs.