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Author Notes: I am a sucker for linguine with white clam sauce. This is my variation, incorporating one of my favorite ingredients - cured pork jowl. Please don't add cheese... it's just not appropriate. To satisfy the urge to sprinkle something, use the seasoned pangrattato. —sumradagnoth
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound guanciale, diced
- 1/4 cup diced vidalia onion
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 32 cockles, cleaned
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound linguine
- 1/4 cup finely chopped italian parsley
- 1/2 loaf of good crusty bread
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 small bunch thyme
- extra-virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- Start by making the pangrattato. Cut the bread into small cubes and grind in a food processor until you get breadcrumbs with a good texture to them... nothing too fine. Heat a generous amount of oil in a large pan and add the garlic and thyme. Once the garlic gets golden, add the breadcrumbs and toast them in the oil until they are nicely browned. Discard the garlic and herbs, season with salt, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Once cool, transfer to a bowl.
- Bring a large pot of copiously salted water to boil.
- Heat a large pan over low heat and render the fat from the guanciale for a bit. Turn the heat up, add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, adding a couple of tablespoons of oil if necessary. Saute until the onion is just golden.
- Drop the pasta and get it cooking. You will want to remove it 1 minute short of al dente, so time the next steps appropriately.
- Add the cockles, wine and butter to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered, just until the cockles open.
- When just shy of al dente, drain the pasta and add to the pan. Splash the pan with reserved pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce up. Add parsley and toss on high heat for about a minute.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, positioning as many of the cockles on top as you can, sprinkle with more red pepper flakes, and serve with the breadcrumbs on the side.