Linguine with Clams, Bacon, and Tomato
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.
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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.
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