Linguine Vongole

David Pasternack

Esca - NYC

You can’t argue with this classic combination of clams, olive oil, garlic, and parsley—it’s almost foolproof. There were certainly no dissenting voices heard when David Pasternack served it at the Beard House.


  • 14 ounces dried linguine
  • 2 pounds mahogany clams or other small clams
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • 6 ounces pancetta, sliced thin and then julienned
  • 8 dried hot chiles
  • 1 cup clam broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the linguine in the boiling water until al dente, about 7 minutes. When it is cooked, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, wash the clams with a kitchen brush under cold running water, and discard any that have opened. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the sliced garlic, the pancetta, and the dried chiles, and sauté until the garlic is golden. Be careful not to let the garlic burn—it will make the dish bitter.

Add the clams, and then pour the clam broth and wine over everything. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Add the drained pasta to the pan and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Check for seasoning (the clam broth is so salty that the dish probably won’t need much additional salt).

Divide into four portions. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over each plate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.


4 servings