Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spaghetti with Clams, Bacon, and Spicy Greens

I made this dish back in May (in the midst of my pasta-making obsession) and I just realized that I never posted it! So I thought I would share it now.  The original recipe is from The Paley’s Place in Portland, Oregon.  Unfortunately I have never actually eaten at the restaurant but my mom gave me the cookbook for Christmas last year and it has a ton of interesting Pacific Northwest recipes that branch out from the typical fare.  I made a few variations that I will include here.  I made my own spaghetti (because of the obsession) but it is not necessary.  I think it would be really good with papardelle as well. 

Spaghetti with Clams, Bacon, and Tender Spicy Greens
makes 4-6 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces unsmoked bacon, cut into ¼ -inch dice
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lbs manila clams, scrubbed clean
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons Persillade (see below)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup tightly packed greens, such as arugula or watercress

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Pout off half the bacon fat and discard.  Add the red pepper flakes and the garlic and sizzle for 1 more minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  Add the clams and stir to coat with the bacon fat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour in the wine, cover, and cook until the clams have opened, about 5 mintues.  Remove from the heat, stir in the persillade, and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.  Drain and add to the pan with the clams along with the greens, tossing until the greens wilt and the pasta is well coated with sauce.

Makes about 1/3 cup
1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves only
3 large garlic cloves
Finely chop the parsley on a cutting board, then gather it to one side.  Finely chop the garlic.  Mix them together and chop some more until well incorporated.  Transfer the mixture to a small container, cover tightly, and refrigerate until ready to use.

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