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A Taste of Summer…Shellfish!

By Lori Powell

Here’s a quick take on dinner with super-fresh littleneck clams. Having these juicy morsels in my fridge is sheer joy!

Real little littlenecks are about1 ½ inches in diameter. Larger than that, they are appropriately called middle necks! Love that name – it makes total sense, at least to me.

Littleneck clams are perfect for a super-quick dinner for one or two! My twist is a take-off on Clams Casino, using all of those delicious flavors (briny fresh clams, lemon and garlic) and textures (crispy pancetta and bread crumbs) in a pasta dish.

How can you go wrong?

Heaven on a dinner plate! Slurp away if you are alone in the kitchen!

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Clams Casino Pasta
Serves 1

1 ounce pancetta, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup clam juice (love Bar Harbor brand from Maine)
24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 ounces pasta – linguine, pappardelle or fettucine
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs, toasted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 lemon wedges

Cook pancetta in a deep skillet, over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Add shallot and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring, until shallot is tender, about 4 minutes.

Add wine and clam juice and bring to a simmer; add clams and cook, covered, about 8 minutes or until clams open. Remove clams to a bowl as they open and discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in butter.

Meanwhile cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander.

Add pasta to skillet and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes. Toss in clams and toss with parsley to combine well. Remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with bread crumbs, the pancetta and drizzle with oil. Serve with lemon wedges.

Note: Store your clams in the coldest part of the fridge in the plastic bag they come in, punctured with holes to allow them to breathe. Scrub clams with a brush right before cooking.

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