Clams with White Wine and Smoked Pancetta Broth

clams with pancetta recipe

Whenever you’re making clams or mussels at home, I find that adding in a handful or two of chopped pancetta (or any other cured pork product like bacon or Italian chorizo) helps add a nice depth to whatever kind of liquid you’re cooking them in.

This is perfect dish for sharing while you’re enjoying the last few days of summer before the back to work/back to school mentality really sets in. The smoked pancetta adds a really nice smokiness, but if you can’t seem to find it at your local grocery store or meat shop, then the regular style of pancetta will do!

What you’ll need…

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/3 cup smoked pancetta (diced)

1 small yellow onion (diced)

1 small bulb fennel (stocks trimmed, halved and thinly sliced, fennel fronds reserved)

1 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

2 lb fresh manila clams (washed and scrubbed)

1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons lemon juice

salt and pepper (to taste)

toasted ciabatta bread (for soaking up all the tasty leftover broth. Optional, but highly recommended!)


Heat canola oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add diced pancetta and cook until browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Once browned, add diced yellow onion and fennel and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.

Next, pour in white wine to deglaze pan, followed by stock and let liquid come to a simmer. Add clams to pot, cover and let cook until shells pop open, should be another 5 minutes or so. Uncover and discard any clams that did not open.

Add mustard, honey and lemon juice to that pan, stirring several times to incorporate. Let cook for a minute or two.

Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a large bowl or shallow platter and serve immediately with toasted bread.

Serves 3-4

Total cook time…20 minutes