Clams and bacon have quite an affinity for one another. Take time to get the bacon nice and crispy and the onions nice and brown (you’ll need a heavy-bottomed pan for this so they don’t burn). Their flavor will infuse the whole dish.
1 pound spinach
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 slices bacon, sliced crosswise into slivers
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup white wine
3 pounds clams, scrubbed
freshly ground black pepper
Wilt the spinach in a wide, covered sauté pan over medium heat, for about 4 minutes, and pour off liquid. Remove spinach from pan, turn up heat and let any remaining liquid burn off. Swirl in 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes, until golden. Add spinach back to pan and sauté for another 2 minutes, until completely wilted. Turn into a serving bowl and squeeze lemon juice over top. Remove spinach from pan; set aside.
Wipe out pan, reduce heat to medium and add bacon and onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until bacon is well-browned, about 10-12 minutes. Turn heat to medium-high, add thyme and white wine, and deglaze pan. Bring to a boil and let wine reduce to about half, about 4 minutes.
Add clams and reduce heat once again to medium. Cover and let simmer for 6-8 minutes, until clams are opened. Drizzle 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle black pepper over top.
To serve, place a bed of spinach in each of four wide bowls. Top with clams and broth.