Luca’s Spaghetti Alle Vongole



1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 oz thinly sliced pancetta, cut into thin strips

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

2 lb Mahogany clams or New Zealand cockles, scrubbed

1 cup bottled clam juice

1/3 cup dry white wine

4 small dried hot chiles (1-inch) or 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

14 oz dried thin spaghetti

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

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

Stir in clams, clam juice, 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.

Serve with lots of crusty bread for dipping.


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