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.