Well, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, whatever that means to you. I know some couples use it as an occasion to go out to a fancy dinner, but my husband and I prefer to make a special meal at home. It’s more affordable, we can wear our pajamas if we want to, and we have a range of options beyond filet mignon from the prix fixe menu at a restaurant. I mean, really – we can make whatever our hearts desire!
When we’re in the kitchen together, we like to choose recipes that are maybe a bit more involved than either one of us would cook alone. We can divide up the tasks so that we each share the prep work, and then it all comes together to form one amazing meal.
This year, I thought it would be fun to make a homemade version of Pasta all’Amatriciana, a dish we ate several times in Rome. And because it’s a special occasion, why not throw some clams on top? Plus, it gave Jeff an excuse to nickname this recipe Clamatriciana (yes, this is the same man who came up with “Ravilachos,” too).
This Pasta all’Amatriciana with Clams starts with a generous portion of pancetta (cured, unsmoked Italian bacon), sauteed with onions, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir in some Red Gold Whole Peeled Tomatoes (crush them by hand as you are pouring them in) and simmer until a rich, thick sauce develops.
While one of you is working on the sauce, your loved one can be boiling some bucatini pasta and cleaning some clams, and then cooking them in a little white wine. After that, it’s time to combine everything and sit down and enjoy your special meal! Don’t forget some Light Valentine’s Day Dessert Shooters for dessert!
Red Gold has been sustainably growing their tomatoes on Midwest farms for more than 70 years. Red Gold tomatoes are non-GMO project verified, and packed in non-BPA lined cans. For more information, please connect with Red Gold on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped medium white onion
- 1/2 28-ounce can Red Gold Whole Peeled Tomatoes with juices
- 6 ounces dried bucatini or spaghetti
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Heat oil in large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Add black pepper and red pepper flakes; cook 10 seconds, stirring constantly. Add garlic and onion; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently.
- Add tomatoes and their juices to skillet, crushing tomatoes by hand while adding them. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta.
- Heat wine in medium saucepot over medium-high heat. Add clams and cook, covered, 5 to 6 minutes or until clams open. Remove clams from pot as they open. Discard any clams that do not open.
- Add drained pasta and 1/4 cup pasta cooking water to sauce in skillet and cook over medium-low heat 2 minutes, tossing constantly. Stir in cheese, then divide pasta between two bowls. Serve topped with clams and parsley, if desired.
MORE GREAT PASTA RECIPES:
- One Pan Sausage & Tortellini – my family eats this on repeat all winter!
- Garlicky Greek Yogurt Pasta with Sautéed Lentils & Chickpeas – great for Meatless Monday.
- Mushroom & Lentil Ragu – a hearty vegetarian sauce over spaghetti.
- Minestrone Pasta Sauté with Ricotta – perfect for a cold winter night.
- Asparagus & Parmesan Pasta with a Fried Egg – bookmark this for asparagus season.
- Butternut Squash Noodles – a healthier take on pasta.
Disclosure: As a Red Gold Ambassador, this was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the brand. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.