10 ounces linguine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 pound smoked pig jowl, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
4–5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon semisweet (or sweet) smoked paprika
salt, to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 dozen manila clams
2 handfuls wild watercress, dandelion greens, or arugula, torn parsley, chopped for garnish
1. In a large, deep-sided saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low and slowly cook diced jowl, rendering fat until the meat is crispy, about 30 minutes of mostly untended cooking with occasional stirring.
2. While the jowl is rendering, bring a pot of water to boil and add linguine. Cook until not quite al dente, drain, and set aside.
3. When diced jowl is crispy, raise heat to medium, add onions and cook in pork fat for a minute before adding garlic and red pepper. Cook together for another 2 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper flakes and paprika. Salt to taste.
3. Raise heat to high, de-glaze with white wine, and allow to bubble for 30 seconds, stirring, before adding clams and covering.
4. When clams begin to open, mix in greens and linguine. Continue to stir, coating pasta and reducing liquid if necessary. Serve and garnish with chopped parsley.
Read Langdon Cook's how-to on foraging for manilla clams.