Italian Style Pasta and Clams

4 servings

Topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Pasta:
Kosher salt
8 oz bucatini or spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
¼ cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup white wine
(1 pound or 1 bag or 30) small clams, cleaned
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions

For the topping: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and breadcrumbs and toast, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy. Season with salt. Set aside to cool. Stir in the Parmesan.

For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes less than the package directions, about 9 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

Put the olive oil and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until browned and crispy, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook an additional minute. Add the tomatoes and red onion; toss to coat. Deglaze with the white wine and add the clams. Cover the skillet with a lid and shake gently. Cook until all the shells have opened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the clams to four individual pasta bowls, discarding any unopened clams.

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Add the reserved pasta water to create a loose sauce. Toss with the parsley. Scoop equal amounts of pasta and sauce over the clams in the pasta bowls.

Sprinkle each with the breadcrumb topping. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and ciabatta br+ead.

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