Spicy Clam Pasta With Bacon, Peas and Basil

Spicy Clam Pasta With Bacon, Peas and Basil

In a pinch, canned baby clams make a very decent pasta ingredient. There is great variation between different brands of canned clams — some are not salty at all, so bear that in mind when seasoning. The liquid in the cans is not needed here, but you may save it for another purpose if you wish.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Put basil, parsley and garlic in a mortar or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup oil. Pound or whiz to obtain a bright green purée.
  2. Step 2

    Put a pot of water on to boil and make it very salty. (It will boil faster with the lid on.)
  3. Step 3

    Over medium heat, render bacon in its own fat until browned and crisp but not hard, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off fat but leave a small amount in the pan, just to coat the bottom.
  4. Step 4

    Increase heat to medium-high, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the clams, serrano chile and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring and coating clams well. Add peas and warm through, then turn off heat.
  5. Step 5

    Boil pasta and cook until slightly underdone. Drain pasta and add to pan with clams. Turn heat to medium-high and stir all together. Add a splash of pasta water, if it seems dry. Add basil purée and toss well. Top with bacon and reserved basil leaves. Pass lemon wedges.