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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.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2009

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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