Linguine with Clam Sauce

One of my all-time favorite recipes, truly. It’s sweet, earthy, and full of umami, punctuated with just enough peppery parsley to keep you on your toes.

Linguine alle Vongole

Adapted from Esca. From the Food Network and Sara’s Secrets.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, cut into thin strips
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 pounds cherrystone clams, scrubbed
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 small dried hot chiles (1-inch) or 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
14 ounces dried thin linguine
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute pancetta, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds.

Stir in clams, broth, wine, and chiles and boil, covered until clams open, about 4 to 5 minutes (discard any clams that do not open after 6 minutes). If using whole chiles, remove with a slotted spoon and discard.

While clams are cooking, cook pasta in a 6-quart pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente. Drain in a colander, then add to clams and simmer, stirring, 30 seconds.

Toss pasta with parsley and drizzle with remaining 5 tablespoons oil.

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