Clams with Mushrooms and Bacon

Vongole Montanare


1/2 ounce dried Porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot chicken broth
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice (or regular bacon roughly chopped)
6 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 pound Shitake or Crimini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds clams, well scrubbed
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup wine
1 cup clam juice
1/2 cup tomato sauce
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
6 slices Italian garlic, Italian bread toasted and rubbed with a raw garlic clove, (optional)
4 tablespoons butter (optional)

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Serves 4-6
Printable Version
Soften the dried Porcini mushrooms in hot chicken broth for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the broth, chop the mushrooms. Set aside. In a deep sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the diced bacon. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring well, until the bacon has browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer the cooked bacon to a small dish lined with a paper towel.
Add the remaining olive oil to the sauté pan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat for 3 -4 minutes. Add the chopped Porcini and the fresh mushrooms. Stir well and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add clams, salt, wine, cooked bacon. Stir well and cook covered for 4-5 minutes until all the clams have opened. With a slotted spoon remove the clams and set aside in a bowl. (Discard the clams that have not opened.)
Add the clam juice, and the tomato sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook 5 more minutes stirring well. Add the cooked clams and their juices to the sauce reduce the heat to medium, stirring well and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Optional Serving Idea:
Serve the clams in deep bowls, place a piece of toasted bread rubbed with garlic in the middle of each bowl. Using a slotted spoon place the clams over the bread in each serving bowl. After you have plated all the clams bring the sauce to rolling boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the 4 tablespoons of butter, (1 tablespoon at the time), until it is all melted. Add the parsley and stir well. Pour equal amount of sauce over the clams in each of the serving bowls and serve.
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions