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Bucatini a la Clams Casino

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Topping:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Pasta:

Kosher salt

1 pound bucatini 

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving 

5 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced 

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

3 on-the-vine tomatoes, seeded and diced 

1/2 cup white wine 

1 1/2 pounds cockles or New Zealand clams (or other small clams), cleaned

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 

Directions

  1. For the topping: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and breadcrumbs and toast, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy. Season with the salt. Set aside to cool. Stir in the Parmesan.
  2. For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes less than the package directions, about 9 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  3. Put the olive oil and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until browned and crispy, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about an additional minute. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Deglaze with the white wine and add the cockles. Cover the skillet with a lid and shake gently. Cook until all the shells have opened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the clams to a bowl, discarding any unopened clams. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Add the reserved pasta water to create a loose sauce. Toss with the parsley. Stir the clams back into the pasta and sprinkle with the breadcrumb topping. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.