Pasta Shells with Artichoke-Clam Sauce

  • Serves

    serves 6


In this aromatic dish, based on one from Marseille restaurant Le Grain de Sel, shell-shape pasta is dressed in a light tomato and clam sauce with artichoke hearts. This recipe first appeared in our March 2014 issue with the story City by the Sea.


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. medium shell pasta
  • 13 cup olive oil, plus more
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" strips
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 12 lb. littleneck clams (about 30), scrubbed clean
  • 13 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. minced thyme
  • 2 cups artichoke hearts, defrosted frozen quarters or whole canned, drained and halved
  • 4 canned whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand
  • 2 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp. minced chives
  • Paprika, for garnish


Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1⁄2 cup pasta water; set aside. Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until just crisp, 4–5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain.

Step 2

Return pan to medium-high heat; add garlic and shallots. Cook until golden, 4–5 minutes. Increase heat to high; stir in clams, wine, thyme, artichokes, and tomatoes. Cook, covered, until clams open, 3–5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer clams to a plate. Stir in reserved pasta, cooking liquid, bacon, salt, and pepper; cook until sauce is slightly thick, 2–3 minutes. Stir in half each the parsley and chives. Divide pasta between 6 bowls; top with clams. Garnish with remaining herbs; sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil.

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