CLAMS, MANILLA, WITH BACON GARLIC SPAGHETTINI
5 pounds local steamer clams, aka, Manilla clams
1/4 pound natural bacon, crispy baked and chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, halved, cleaned of sprout, sliced
EVOO as needed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound spaghettini, homemade or purchased, cooked
1-2 cloves garlic, halved, cleaned of sprout, minced
Start the clam recipe by cleaning clams and pre-prepping the rest of the ingredients for in the clam recipe; set aside until cooking step below (*).
Bake bacon on double sheet pan until crisp, draining fat, carefully at least once during cooking about 15-20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, chop. Hold warm.
Place first garlic in sauté pan and cover with EVOO. Place on low and bring to no more than simmer. Cook until garlic is browned by slowly caramelizing. Add pepper flakes and hold warm while cooking spaghettini.
To cook fresh spaghettini (*): Place into salted boiling water. Stir and test for doneness almost immediately, by tasting a strand or two. When done drain, reserving a small amount of the drained water. Place in bowl and dress with caramelized garlic and red pepper flakes. Add more EVOO if needed. Add second garlic a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you achieve the desired flavor. Hold warm.
(*)As you are bringing pasta water to boil, finish the steamer clam recipe. If clam sauce needs more liquid use the reserved pasta water. Serve clams immediately over or with the dressed pasta.