This tomato sauce recipe is a twist on the classic seafood favorite and moves the dish from appetizer to main course. Strand pastas, such as linguine or spaghetti, pair best with Clams Casino Sauce. Homemade toasted bread crumbs are infinitely better than the store-bought variety. To make them, we pulsed two slices of hearty white sandwich bread in a food processor until finely ground, then toast the crumbs on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven until golden, about eight minutes. To prevent overcooking the pasta, we didn’t rely on the cooking instructions on the pasta box; sometimes we needed to shave several minutes off the recommended cooking time for perfectly al dente pasta. We used a liquid measuring cup to retrieve 1/2 cup pasta water from the pot just before draining. If the sauced pasta was too dry, we used the water to achieve the desired consistency
- 7 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped fine
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
- 3 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams, drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup toasted bread crumbs
1. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Cook onion and peppers in bacon fat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and simmer, scraping up any browned bits, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in clam juice and bring to boil. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Stir in clams and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Off heat, whisk in parsley, oregano, and butter. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Toss sauce with cooked pasta and reserved pasta cooking water, if necessary (see “Cooking Pasta 101”). Sprinkle with bread crumbs and crisp bacon. Serve.