Pantry Linguine in Clam Sauce may just be the foxiest meal to emerge almost entirely from your pantry. Done in just under twenty minutes, this is a go-to for Date Night when times are busy.
I'm not sure what it is about linguine clam sauce that's positively foxy. But Pantry Linguine in Clam Sauce has become one of our favorite, quick Date Night dinners.
In fact, the Romano cheese and parsley (flat leaf, please) are the only ingredients that don't come from my pantry.
All said and done, this dish takes under 20 minutes to prepare if you make the sauce while the pasta boils. You can see my process in the images below.
Fun fact: you'll see in one of these images that I have a wooden spoon resting on top of the pot of boiling water. I recently learned that doing this helps prevent boil-over! (It doesn't actually completely STOP it, but it gives you time to turn the heat down before you have a gigantic mess on your hands.)
What goes in Linguine in Clam Sauce?
This recipe is not as gorgeous as the restaurant linguine with the clams in their shells—that's about three times as much work.
Plus, I have bad memories of the time when that one clam seemed a little bit off. If you've ever gotten a bit of bad shellfish, you KNOW what I mean.
So, my preference is to stick to my pantry and pull out a can of baby clams in their juice.
Not as cheffy, I agree. But it's incredibly simple and lightning fast.
You'll notice that the sauce starts out with ¼ cup of olive oil. This is a lot more than I usually use, as I've steadily reduced the amount of oil I cook with over the last several years. But keep in mind that olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce the circulating levels of unhealthy cholesterol.
In fact, Mediterranean diets, which, among other things, are high in monounsaturated fats, have been associated with lower cholesterol and improved cardiovascular health (chronicled here in the gory, science-y detail typical of peer-reviewed scientific journals).
For more user-friendly information, check out the American Heart Association's recommendations on monounsaturated fats.
I love garlic. Phil, even more so. So, any amount of garlic that I would normally put into a dish I double for his sake.
The amount I give in the recipe is closer to my end of the garlicky spectrum, but if you're not such a big fan of garlic, reduce the amount you use to 2 or even 1 clove.
Gently heat the minced garlic in the room-temperature oil over medium-low heat while your pasta cooks. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, but not browned at all.
These are optional: we like a bit of kick in our clam sauce. Add a pinch to your garlic while it heats.
Freshly ground black pepper
You want lots. Add it with the garlic while it heats.
Add the wine when the garlic is ready (crank the heat to medium-high and stir constantly). The wine reduces for about 2 minutes to cook off any alcohol flavor.
The clam juice makes up the remainder of the sauce: add it right before you add the just-under-al-dente pasta to the skillet. It finishes cooking in the sauce.
I love to serve Pantry Linguine in Clam Sauce (with a nice, crisp white wine like a sauvignon blanc) in a romantic setting, dishing up the pasta—with more parsley sprinkled on top—on a pretty platter to make it feel extra-special. But I get it if you want to just make this for a regular old weeknight.
Leftover Pantry Linguine in Clam Sauce is fantastic reheated as-is the next day—but it's SUBLIME in what I like to call a "leftover pasta frittata".
I'll post the recipe for that one of these days. If you are familiar with frittata-making, it's just a matter of adding the egg mixture to the noodles after they fry up a bit in the skillet.
Leftover leftover pasta frittata is great in sandwiches...I'm getting carried away.
Pantry Linguine and Clam Sauce: an ideal vacation meal
When our family goes on vacation, we nearly always choose a condo with a fully stocked kitchen.
To me, it's fun to cook meals in the condo and spend the money we save on activities.
This recipe is ideal because most of the ingredients don't need a refrigerator, you don't need any special equipment, and it's fast.
Here's the meal Phil and I made during our hiking trip in Gatlinburg, TN (we used spaghetti this time):
It's an easy, wonderful departure from usual pantry fare. I hope you love it!
P.S. For more pantry raid meal inspiration, check out Easy Pantry Meals – Living Out of Your Pantry (and refrigerator and freezer)!
I'm linking my Pantry Linguine in Clam Sauce recipe up with:
- #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share at Recipes Made Easy.
- #CookOnceEatTwice, for recipes that are just as good left-over as they are when you made them, hosted by Searching for Spice.
- #RecipeOfTheWeek hosted by A Mummy Too.
- #BrillBlogPosts, a link party with a variety of lifestyle reads hosted by Honest Mum.
- 1 lb linguine
- ½ tsp kosher salt (you'll want plenty extra for salting the pasta water)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- ¼ tsp crushed pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper (more for serving)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 15 oz canned baby clams with juice
- ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- ¼ cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions, but 2 minutes less than directed for al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce).
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over low heat. Add oil, garlic, and black pepper. Cook together until garlic is fragrant—but not brown at all—and has all but melted into the oil, about 8–10 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high and add wine to the skillet; stir to combine. Reduce for 2 minutes. Add clams with their juice and salt. Reduce heat to medium.
- Drain pasta and add it to the clam sauce. Toss and coat the pasta in the sauce for 2–3 minutes, until pasta has mostly absorbed the sauce. Remove from heat and add the Romano cheese; toss to incorporate. Add parsley and a few additional grinds of black pepper; toss well and serve with additional parsley, black pepper, and Romano cheese to taste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 18gSodium: 800mg
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!
Penne with Vodka Sauce: another Date-Night-from-the Pantry favorite, this easy Penne Arrabbiata recipe is done in less than 30 minutes!
Easy Garlic-Tomato-Basil Pasta: done in under 25 minutes, this pasta finishes cooking right in the light sauce, which is made creamy with the addition of pasta water and Romano cheese.
Frittata: an easy, fancy breakfast that's customizable to whatever ingredients you have on hand.