Monday Meal: Strascinati Pasta with Clams | Buzz Blog
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Monday Meal: Strascinati Pasta with Clams

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This is one of my very favorite pasta dishes. You could use any type of pasta with my recipe, but I like strascinati Pugliesi, which is a thick, leaf-shaped pasta from Italy's Apulia region. The pasta is so cherished in the town of Latiano that it hosts an annual festival dedicated to it. 

Ingredients: 

3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 lb. pancetta, diced
1/2 red onion, peeled and minced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp. hot chili flakes
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine 
2 lbs. fresh clams, cleaned
1 lb. strascinati or other dried pasta
Salt
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. minced fresh Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method: 

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep-sided skillet or stock pot over medium heat. 

Add the diced pancetta to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta begins to get crisp, about 4-5 minutes. 

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Add the garlic and onion to the pan and saute with the pancetta, until slightly wilted and translucent. 

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Pour the wine into the pan along with the chili flakes, thyme and oregano. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the wine is reduced a little, about 2-3 minutes. 

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Add the clams to the pan, cover and steam until the clams are all cooked and the shells have opened. 

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Cook the pasta according to package directions in generously salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with the butter and parsley. 

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Toss the pasta with the clams and add black pepper to taste. 

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Serve immediately. 

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Photos by Ted Scheffler