Linguine with Clams, Bacon, and Tomato
- SERVINGS: 4
Clams and bacon form a delectable union enhanced by wine-flavored tomato sauce. We recommend chopped clams, which are sold in refrigerated containers in many fish shops and at supermarkets, but you can also use good-quality canned clams.
- 1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 16-ounce can)
- 1 cup bottled clam juice
- 3/4 pound chopped clams, drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, more if needed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
- 3/4 pound linguine
- In a large stainless-steel frying pan, cook the strips of bacon over moderate heat until almost crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
- Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the wine. Stir in the bacon, tomatoes, and clam juice and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the clams, parsley, salt, and red-pepper flakes and simmer for 30 seconds longer. Do not cook the clams too long or they will toughen. Taste the sauce and add more salt if needed.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until just done, about 12 minutes. Return the pasta to the hot pot. Add the sauce and let sit 2 to 3 minutes so that the pasta absorbs some of the liquid.
The full flavor of the clams and the acidity of the tomatoes are best with a straightforward, acidic white wine. The classic French shellfish wine is Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine.