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Linguine with clams, pancetta and chiles

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Linguine with clams, pancetta and chiles
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Red chile 'pesto'

1

In 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

In 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.

2

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

3

Drain 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.

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

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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