Shellfish with bacon is a classic combination. The sensation of salty, briny clams with slightly sweet pancetta is one of my favorites. In this dish roasted tomatoes are added to clams and bacon to create a hearty, rustic stew. This dish is good served with hearty bread, or over linguine. Substitute arugula if you can’t find mustard greens.
Yield: Serves 4
6 ounces pancetta (or other unsmoked bacon), cut into strips about ½ inch thick and 2 inches long
3 dozen Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
4 cups mustard greens
3 or 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Place the pancetta in a pot large enough to hold the clams. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
2. Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of fat. Increase the heat to medium and add the garlic and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes, then add the roasted tomatoes. Cook about 1 minute. Add the wine and allow it to reduce until the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the clams and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams open, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the greens. Cook just until the greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Divide the clams, greens, and broth among 4 shallow bowls. Top with pancetta, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.