Fettucini and Clams

If my wife were here for her birthday I would make this for her.

Serves 4 (you can stretch this with some more pasta if a few more guests show up)


  • 5 Pounds of Medium Size Clams (or whatever the fish guy says is good that day)
  • 1 lb. Fettucini
  • 3 Thick (1/4″) Slices of Pancetta, cubed
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Cup White Wine
  • Big Splash of Sambuca
  • Handful of Italian Parsley, rough chopped


  • Large Sauce Pan
  • Large Sauté Pan with Lid
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Large Bowl
  • Colander
  • Tongs
  1. Rinse and soak the clams in enough cold water to cover. Let them sit for 10-20 minutes, pour out the dirty water and repeat 2 or 3 times until the water is clean.
  2. Put Pasta water on to boil.
  3. Start the pasta.
  4. In sauté pan on medium heat, add the olive oil. About 3 tablespoons.
  5. Add pancetta and sauté for about 5 minutes, until it starts to get a little crispy.
  6. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for a minute or two. Do not burn the garlic.
  7. Add wine and sambuca and turn up heat.
  8. When the liquid begins to steam, add the clams and cover.
  9. Check on them after a minute or so. Remove the ones that are open and cover again.
  10. Continue until all the clams are open. Do not force them open. If any don’t open then discard them.
  11. Add a little more sambuca and reduce the liquid slightly.
  12. Your pasta should be al dente by now. Turn the heat off and add the pasta to the sauté pan. Combine thoroughly. I sometimes add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water if there is not enough liquid to coat the pasta.
  13. Plate the pasta in bowls and divide up the clams. 
  14. Garnish with the parsley.


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