Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Too Much Bacon? Oh, Clam Up!

Yesterday was one of those cook-from-the-pantry days.  It was gray and rainy, and I didn't want to go to the grocery store.  I almost always have pasta and cans of chopped clams in my pantry, so linguine with clam sauce seemed to fill the bill.  Clams are supposed to be high in protein, iron and other minerals, and B12.  They are also low in fat.  So what's the best way to take this healthy food and make it less healthy, but very, very tasty?  Bacon!  Ten slices of bacon!  It's a lot of bacon, but too much?  I'd say, just right.

Mmmm, bacon!

Bacon and clam sauce is a special, yummy treat at our house.  Even though I usually have the ingredients for this dish on hand (except for fresh parsley in the winter), I don't make it often because of all the bacon.  We LOVE bacon, but it's not exactly health food, is it?  How cool is it, though, that a special treat dish also happens to be one I can whip up when the fridge is kind of bare?  In addition to the bacon, garlic and cayenne pepper give this dish a lot of flavor.

Luckily there was still
parsley in the garden.
This recipe, with only slight modifications, comes from a great little soft cover cookbook called All the Best Pasta Sauces by Joie Warner.  My copy is from 1987, but you can still get the book on Amazon, lots of used copies available too.  It's a wonderful little book if you like pasta.

Crispy Bacon and Clam Linguine
Slightly adapted from All the Best Pasta Sauces by Joie Warner

10 slices bacon, preferably smoked
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound linguine
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (can omit if you don’t have fresh, or add a tablespoon dried parsley in last step of cooking)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 5-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, reserving 1/4 cup broth
Grated Parmesan cheese

Lots of clams, too, not just bacon.
Heat water for linguine.

Fry bacon in large skillet until crisp.  Remove bacon to paper-towel-lined plate.  Pour out bacon drippings, reserving 1/4 cup.  Return 1/4 cup bacon drippings to skillet.  Break bacon into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Begin cooking linguine.

Add olive oil to bacon drippings in skillet.  Heat over medium heat and add onion and garlic.  Cook about 3 minutes, until tender.  Add fresh parsley, cayenne, and black pepper, and cook about 2 minutes.  Stir in clams and broth (add dried parsley here if using).   Cook until heated through.  

Combine with hot pasta, top with bacon pieces and toss to combine.  Top with grated cheese if desired.

Serves four.


  1. Delicious pasta dish. I have to start adding canned clams to my pantry contents.

  2. What a great recipe! We also love bacon and clams.. I'll have to try that one. YUM! Thanks for sharing!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. I have never cooked with clams. Do they taste like oysters? I'm not sure I've ever eaten them.

    1. I'm not sure if they're like oysters. I don't think so, but I've only eaten oysters a couple of times. They don't really have a whole lot of flavor, but are kind of chewy. Have you ever had clam chowder? Not many clams in some chowders I've eaten, but that's the first way many people eat them. I also love fried clam strips!

  4. Oh, be still my heart! I love linguine with clam sauce, but I've never tried it with bacon. I'm sorry I've already started tonight's dinner. Enjoy!

  5. I've never eaten clams before, but your dish looks so yummy! I love meals that can be thrown together in just a few minutes. Thanks for sharing, Lynette!


  6. That looks so tempting! I'm starting to get hungry...

  7. I love making up meals from the larder, I think we should all do it more. Most of us have food just begging to be used. I usually do a freezer cull twice a year making sure I don't go to the shops unless I need staples which I will buy locally

  8. Lots of clams and bacon...I am getting HUNGRY!

  9. This looks amazing! And no, you can't have too much bacon. This is definitely on my list of recipes to try. I'm not a fan of clams but I'll bet it tastes good with shrimp as well.

  10. Yum... That sounds and looks delicious... We too don't eat much bacon although I love it... I've never had clams and bacon together --but am going to try it sometime. Thanks!!!


  11. Wow! This looks so good.
    We love bacon too. :-)
    Thank you for sharing, this will be a fun change for us. Always looking for new recipes.

  12. Looks and SMELLS amazing he he :) We can't get tinned clams here in Australia, well, not that I have seen anyway. I wonder what would make a good substitute. :)

  13. I love the look of your pasta dish and no, you can never have too much bacon! It's a very yummy looking pasta and I do love it when you can make something really fabulous out of just what you have on hand xx

  14. Looks delicious, Lynette. I have days like that when I know I really need to go food shopping but I don't want to go out because of miserable weather. I'm making a Pan Haggerty for this evening's meal which is definitely a cook from the pantry type meal with lots of yummy bacon!

  15. I don't eat bacon, but love clams. I bet it is good without the bacon, I might have to give it a try because it looks so yummy.

  16. Hi Lynette THANKS for stopping by my blog!! No the banana peppers are the sweet ones!! They are so yummy. I froze them and the other day I made another funky farm house dinner and they were just as good frozen!! XOXO Love Fran.

  17. I saw your comment in Simple Cozy Living and came for a visit. I’m going to copy your recipe of bacon clam and linguine, it sounds so tasty. I already like Spaghetti Carbonara a lot but never tried a recipe with clams, apart from clam dip…

  18. Sounds yummy. Bacon, oh yea!

    M : )

  19. This is a recipe I am very familiar with. It's a favorite of my sister's. She makes it whenever she visits. I've never had it with bacon though, I bet it was so good. Thanks for sharing your version.

  20. Bacon and practically anything = yum ! This looks so good I know I'll have to make it.

  21. Well, I'm only about a month late coming over to visit but I am sure glad I didn't miss this recipe! I love pasta and I love bacon! And with Winter coming I like having the pantry filled with items that can make a meal and I always have bacon in the freezer...just in case! LOL! Thank you! I can't wait to try it.

  22. I LOVE BACON!!! This looks so super yummy :)


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