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LivingFood and DrinkClams Arrabbiata

Clams Arrabbiata

If you are tired of holiday leftovers, try this Bon Appetit recipe for clams arrabbiata – clams in a spicy tomato sauce. Brown pancetta, cook onion and garlic and stir in hot pepper flakes. Add tomatoes and simmer until the sauce reduces by about half. Add clams and water, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes and then remove the clams. Cook the ditalini or any other small pasta until done and return the clams to the pot to warm them through. Serve the clams and sauce topped with basil and with crusty bread. Cook’s note: I cooked the pasta separately while the sauce was simmering, added it to the sauce and clams and served right away.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for pancetta or bacon without nitrites, such as brands preserved with celery salt. Make sure the pepper flakes do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Blue Menu tomatoes are additive-free, as are several varieties of Ace Bakery crusty bread. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


3 Tbsp. (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 oz. (57 g) thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¾ tsp. (3.75 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

1 28-oz. (828 ml) can whole peeled tomatoes

24 littleneck clams, scrubbed

4 oz. (114 g) ditalini or other small pasta (about 1 cup/250 ml)

Handful of torn basil leaves

Country-style bread (for serving)


Cook oil and pancetta in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pancetta begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes.

Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go; increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until tomato liquid is reduced by half and tomatoes take on a jammy consistency, 12–15 minutes. Add clams and 2 cups water. Cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until clams begin to open, 8–10 minutes. Uncover pot and transfer opened clams with a slotted spoon to a plate. Re-cover pot and continue cooking clams until they open, up to 15 minutes longer; discard any clams that haven’t opened by this time.

Add ditalini to pot and cook, stirring often (pasta will want to settle and stick to the bottom of the pot), until al dente, 8–10 minutes. Add clams back to pot.

Ladle clams and sauce among bowls; top with basil. Serve with bread alongside for dipping. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit




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