Linguine with Clams in Pepper Broth
Crushed black pepper and red-chile flakes kick-start a fragrant, salty clam broth. The robust flavor of clams thrives on heat and spice, with pasta and pancetta acting as a buffer zone.
- Coarse salt
- 1/2 pound dried linguine
- 2 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tablespoon chopped, for garnish
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 pounds Manila clams or cockles, scrubbed well
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.
Meanwhile, cook pancetta in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon, and let drain.
Return saucepan to medium-low heat, and add 2 tablespoons butter, the parsley, garlic, 2 teaspoons pepper, and the red-pepper flakes. Cook until garlic is soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine and clams, and bring to a simmer. Cover, and cook until clams have opened, about 5 minutes (discard any unopened clams). Add linguine, reserved cooking water, pancetta, remaining tablespoon butter, and the lemon zest. Toss to combine. Season with pepper, and garnish with parsley.