1 ounce hot coppa or soppressata, cut into 1/4-inch dice ( 1/4 cup)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 tablespoons dry white wine
32 Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
3/4 pound tonnarelli or linguine
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons each of thinly sliced mint and basil
In a deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the coppa, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately low heat until the garlic is golden, 1 1/2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the clams, cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes; as the clams open, transfer them to a covered bowl.
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until almost al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet. Stir in the cooking water over low heat, tossing until the pasta is al dente, 1 minute. Season with black pepper. Add the clams to the pasta, garnish with the herbs and serve.