I was intrigued by PutneyFarms’s combination of clams with bacon, so I decided to give this a try even though I had never heard of this in Italy. Of course I did have to Italify things slightly by using pancetta rather than bacon and parsley rather than thyme. The combination of vongole with pancetta worked well: the tastes complement each other. It is nice to serve with crusty homemade bread to soak op the juices, although those turn out quite salty. This dish has a lot of taste for the small amount of work involved.
For 3-4 servings as an antipasto
1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) vongole or other small clams
100 grams (4 oz) pancetta
1 clove garlic
1 glass (100 ml) dry white wine
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
chili pepper flakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
Let the vongole clean themselves by putting them in water as salty as the sea (3% by weight, i.e. 1 liter of water with 30 grams of salt, or 1 quart of water with 1 oz of salt) for an hour or so.
This is good with any coastal Italian dry white. Since vongole are eaten a lot at the coast of Le Marche, a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi would be appropriate.