Food - Recipe & receipt: $20 Dinner with Drew Belline

Dining on a budget

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Bucatini with Sapelo Island clams, crispy pancetta, and thyme

This recipe serves two, maybe three people depending on how hungry they are.


  • • 2 pounds washed Sapelo Island clams?
  • • 1/2 pound good dried bucatini pasta?
  • • 1/2 cup pancetta, diced?
  • • 4 cloves local heirloom garlic, sliced thin?
  • • 4 ounces white wine?
  • • 6 sprigs lemon thyme?
  • • Juice of one lemon?
  • • 4 ounces butter?
  • • A good pinch of chili flakes (just adjust the heat to your taste)?
  • • 1 shallot, diced?
  • • Salt and pepper to taste?

?Purge clams in cornmeal for 30 minutes before cooking. Bring one pot of salted water to a boil for the bucatini. In a medium hot sauté pan render the diced pancetta. Once crispy, add the clams to the pan (making sure not to dump off the fat from the pancetta). When the clams hit the pan, your pasta should hit the water. This is a quick and simple dish, so make sure you have your ingredients ready. When the clams just begin to open, add the thinly shaved heirloom garlic. Sweat the garlic until the edges just begin to brown. Once you see the garlic start to brown, immediately add the white wine and cook the alcohol out. By now, the clams should start to fully open. At this point, strain off your pasta and add it to the pan with the chopped herbs, lemon, butter, and chili flakes. Make sure you check your seasoning! Serve immediately with a warm baguette, some good greens with a good extra virgin olive oil and you're all set. Total cooking time should be around 20 minutes.


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  • • Bucatini pasta: $2.10?
  • • Pancetta: $3.22?
  • • Sapelo Island clams: $7.29?
  • • Shallot: 54 cents?
  • • Garlic: 15 cents?
  • • Thyme: 12 cents?
  • • Lemon: 58 cents?
  • • Butter: 87 cents?

Total: $14.87

Cheats: 4 ounces of your favorite dry white wine, salt and pepper, chili flakes.

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