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Fish and Shellfish, Healthy Eating, Mains

Linguine with clams, pancetta and chiles

Linguine with clams, pancetta and chiles
Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

In the dining room at Osteria Mozza, some kid is arguing with Nancy Silverton about food. It's mid-morning and with the restaurant closed for lunch, it's about the only time the room is empty. But already through the tall windows ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 6

Red chile 'pesto'

  • 6 red jalapenos, coarsely chopped with seeds
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Step 1In a food processor, coarsely puree the chiles, onion and salt. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a trickle to make a coarse sauce. Makes about 1 cup.

Linguine and assembly

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup red chile "pesto"
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 pounds manila clams, scrubbed
  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 1/2 cup sliced Italian parsley
  • 3/4 cup (loosely packed) sliced green onions

Step 1In a large skillet, heat the olive oil with the pancetta over medium heat and cook until the pancetta is crisp and lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain off half of the rendered fat and add the garlic. Cook until it is light golden brown, 3 minutes. Stir in the red chile "pesto," white wine and clams. Cover the pan and cook until all of the clams have opened, 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Step 2While the clams are cooking, cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling, salted water until it is just al dente, 8 minutes.

Step 3Drain the pasta and add it to the clams. Place over high heat, ladle in one-half cup of the pasta cooking water and cook, stirring to mix well. Stir in the parsley and green onions over high heat; serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from Matt Molina of Osteria Mozza. The 'pesto' recipe makes slightly more sauce than is needed for the pasta recipe.

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