This recipe was originally "Linguine with Clams in Pepper Broth" from a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living. It took all of two seconds to decide not to include clams although I'm sure I could have found some great ones here in New England. I can handle eating them in clam chowder, but straight out of the shell is another story.
While the pasta water was coming up to a boil I chopped up a clove of garlic and a few slices of pancetta. The garlic at our new grocery store is actually called, "Super Colossal Garlic." That's why one clove of garlic looks like more. I love garlic, but Brett would not allow more than one super colossal clove.
Once the pasta was cooking I started crisping up the pancetta. Again, the kitchen got all smoky! No smoke alarm this time though, so that was good. I snuck a bite of pancetta from the cooling paper towel and it was delicious (I had never had it before!)
For the broth I put some butter and the garlic in and realized very quickly that the pan was too hot. With an electric stove you can't just crank the flame way down, so I yanked the pan off the burner altogether and stood there saying, "Oh no the garlic is going to burn!" It's a good thing I have Brett because he had the presence of mind to just pour in the chicken broth. (We used chicken broth instead of white wine.) Problem solved! The garlic did not burn. I added much less black pepper than the recipe called for (and it still looked like a lot) and a teeny tiny pinch of red pepper flakes. We let that simmer for a few minutes.
Finally it was time to toss it all together. Linguine and lemon zest went into the broth and we topped it all with a generous sprinkling of pancetta. We quickly realized that we probably should not have halved the recipe. It said that the full recipe "Serves 4", but maybe it didn't mean four hungry full grown adults. So we made some cheesy bread to go with it.
I thought it was delicious. Brett thought it was, as he feared it would be, too peppery. I have a feeling this might show up again but perhaps under the title, "Linguine in a Mild Pepper Broth."