This cosmopolitan take on that other classic is dressed up with hearty pancetta, musky fresh oregano, and an innovative Marsala-spiked broth, adding elegance to any meal.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add clams, cover, and cook until shells open, about 10 minutes. Transfer clams to a large bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Discard any clams that do not open. Remove meat from shells, and return to bowl. Discard shells. Pour reserved liquid through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl (you should have 2 1/2 cups). Sprinkle a few tablespoons liquid over clams to keep them moist.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Pour off excess drippings, leaving just enough to coat bottom of pot. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and reduce heat to medium. Add onion, celery, garlic, and red-pepper flakes, and cook, scraping bottom of pot, until vegetables are light gold, about 7 minutes.

  • Raise heat to high, and stir in Marsala if desired. Add tomatoes, 1 cup reserved tomato juice, 2 1/2 cups reserved clam broth, and the potato. Reduce heat, and simmer until potato is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Cut large clams in half. Stir clams, pancetta, parsley, and oregano into broth, and heat until warmed through, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Some clams are naturally salty, so taste the soup before adding salt. The soup can be made a day in advance through step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Before serving, rewarm gently over low heat. Add the clams, pancetta, and herbs, and heat until warmed through.

Reviews (1)

58 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 21
  • 2 star values: 18
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 4 stars
Could/Would you please use more exact measurements for/especially veggies! 1/2 onion? What weight or how many cups?? Onions and so many other veggies come in too many sizes to state, 1/2 red onion! Please!! This is a very good base recipe. I did add 1 6oz bottle of clam juice, 4, 1 loose Tbl. torn fresh basil leaves and 1 small bay, 1/8 tsp. powder, leaf broken in half and 1 Tbl. Worchestershire sauce! Added 1 cup fresh green beans, replaced the pancetta with 4 crisp slices of good smokey bacon for topping. I did add these one at a time until I had the desired depth of flavor. Served with garlic toast and a very simply bowl of salad greens dressed with homemade garlic EVOO and fresh lemon juice! The stoup simmered for 1 hour! raf