Clams with Bacon & Thyme

INGREDIENTS

3 lb Manila or littleneck clams 

1 Tbsp olive oil 

8 oz bacon, diced 

1 garlic clove, minced 

¼ tsp crushed red pepper 

½ cup dry white wine 

2 strips lemon rind 

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves 

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley 

Lemon wedges

Fresh thyme sprigs

Preparation:  Serves 6

Scrub clams well with a brush; discard opened or cracked clams, or any heavy ones (indicating they’re filled with sand).

Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pot with slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels. Add garlic and red pepper to bacon grease in pot; cook 2 minutes. Add wine, lemon rind and thyme; bring to a boil. Add clams; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 6 minutes or until clams open. Discard any unopened clams.

Spoon into individual bowls. Sprinkle with bacon bits and parsley. Garnish with lemon wedges and thyme.