It is the height of clam season in South Carolina right now, and I'm loving every minute of it. Baked, steamed, or raw, the local clams are always delicious. With Spring in full swing and the pollen recently pressure washed off of my porch, it seemed like the perfect time to open a bottle of rosé and make one of my favorite Italian-inspired meals: Linguine with Clam Sauce.
Usually, I make a white sauce when I make linguine with clam sauce, but this time I decided to step up my game with some pancetta and the new Bertolli Riserva Marinara. I also got some beautiful fresh pasta ( you guys, they actually cut it right in front of me! ) and some real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Then, I set it all out on a flat surface and took a picture from above, because I'm a food blogger and that's what food bloggers do: We take pictures of things from above.
Everything came together so easily, and I must admit, this dinner was impressively good. Company good.
The Bertolli sauce already has some great Italian flavors, and pulls the flavors of the clams, pancetta, and fresh parmesan together to make something truly spectacular. You'll want to make sure you grab some fresh, crusty bread to sop up the sauce left on your plate! Also, it's really critical to make sure you get real parmesan and pancetta for this recipe. You want those fabulous, funky flavors to blend with the red sauce and clams!
This is definitely my new go-to Spring entertaining dish, and I had so much fun setting up my first outdoor dinner of Spring. ( Kudos to my mother for giving me the FABULOUS Italian Insalate kitchen towels you can see in the pictures -- I love them! )
Bertolli has set up a website with tons of entertaining ideas, called Bertolli Cooking School. I highly recommend you check it out for everything from recipes, to etiquette tips (who knew?!), wine pairings, choosing the right knife, pairing pasta with sauces, and more! Also, head to the Bertolli Facebook Page for more tips, ideas, and discussion.
Linguine with Clam Sauce
- 1/2 lb Fresh Linguine
- 35 Fresh Clams in shell
- 4 ounces pancetta chopped
- 1 jar Bertolli Riserva Marinara
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley optional, garnish
- 1/2 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes optional, garnish
- 2 Tablespoons Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano not optional, delicious
- Place the clams in a large bowl full of water to soak for 20 minutes. The clams will take in the water and push out any sand or other debris into the water. While they are soaking, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Cook the pancetta over medium heat for 6 minutes.
- Drain the clams and pat dry.
- Carefully add the clams, and Bertolli Marinara to the pancetta.
- Cover and simmer for approximately 12 minutes, or until most of the clams have opened. Discard any clams that do not open!
- Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the package directions ( for my fresh pasta, that was just over 3 minutes ).
- Serve the clam sauce over the pasta. Top with fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and Parmigiano Reggiano.