¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces pancetta, chopped

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh gingerroot

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon Chinese fermented black beans, soaked for 5 minutes in cold water, drained and chopped

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons sherry

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

30 small (1 to 2 inch) hard-shelled clams or cockles, scrubbed well

¾ pound spaghettini

1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

½ cup finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)

2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

chiles as garnish


1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 

2.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat.  Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.  Add gingerroot, garlic and black beans and cook, over low heat, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add sugar, soy sauce, sherry, chicken broth and clams.  Cover and cook over high heat, transferring the clams with tongs as they open to a bowl.  Discard any clams that do not open. 

3.  Add the spaghettini to the boiling water and cook for about 8 minutes or until al dente.  Bring the mixture in the clam pot to a boil.  Stir the cornstarch mixture and whisk it in.  Simmer for 1 minute and stir in the clams, any juice from the clam bowl, the scallions, sesame oil and the pasta.  Toss well and serve garnished with fresh chiles.

adapted from a Jenn-Air advertisement

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