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This is an Italian linguine recipe with clams that are delicately steamed in white wine and served with tomatoes and a pancetta-based sauce with leeks, shallots, garlic and traditional Italian spices.
- 1 cup dry white wine (250ml)
- 24 littleneck clams, rinsed well under cool water
- 2 lbs ripe tomatoes (905g)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄3 cups pancetta, finely diced (or bacon)
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 medium leek, white part only, julienned
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb linguine, cooked and drained (454g)
- grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)
- In a large stockpot, heat the wine over medium heat. Add the clams. Cover and steam for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally. Begin checking the clams; as they open, transfer them to a colander placed over a bowl (to collect the clam broth). Discard any clams that do not open.
- Strain the clam both (from both the cooking pot and the bowl) through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth into a small bowl; set aside. Remove the shells from the clams; set clams aside.
- In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts (2 L) of water to a boil. Meanwhile, with a paring knife, cut the stems from the tomatoes and make a small X in the opposite ends. Working in batches, plunge the tomatoes in the boiling water and leave them in just until loosened, about 10 to 20 seconds. With a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a large bowl of cold water to cool. Slip off the skins and cut tomatoes in half. Gently but firmly squeeze the seeds from the halves. Dice the tomatoes and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Add the shallots, leek, and garlic, and saute until the shallots are soft and translucent.
- Add reserved clam broth, parsley and crushed red pepper to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the reserved clams and diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat.
- Add cooked linguine to sauce and toss well. Garnish each serving with chopped pasley and grated Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately while still hot.