Linguine with Spicy Red Clam Sauce

by feastonthecheap on February 23, 2010

Mariel here. While my mom steered clear of a set weekly menu when I was a kid, Linguine with Clam Sauce (courtesy of Progresso) was definitely part of the regular rotation. Always one of my faves, I decided to try my hand at an Italian-style red clam sauce since we only dined on white clams as a kiddo. In fact, when I told my mom I conjured up a red sauce, she wrote back feverishly, “Am I a terrible mother for always making white clams growing up? I didn’t realize you preferred red!” Relax mom, I’m just trying something new.

This recipe is fantastically easy (it takes about 30-35 minutes start to finish) and it saves beautifully. In fact, I ate this for a full week straight. The recipe below is a bit spicy (that’s how I like it), but if you suffer from a sensitive palette, simply scrimp on the red pepper flakes. AND, if you’d like to fancy this up for company, sub in Vongole Clams in lieu of the chopped version (though I like this just the way it is). Serve with a piece of crusty French bread and a simple Green Salad with Montrachet Croutons.

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Linguine with Spicy Red Clam Sauce
Serves 6

1 ½ cups of chopped clams in clam juice – drained, but reserve their clam juice (about 3 6.5 oz cans) – $7.23
¾ cup clam juice reserved from chopped clams – above
¼ cup water
3 TBS olive oil -s tock
¾ cup white wine (I used a blend of chardonnay and dry cooking white) – stock
¼ tsp thyme – stock
¼ tsp oregano – stock
½ tsp red pepper flakes – stock
3 tsps chopped garlic (about 3 cloves worth) – stock
1 cup chopped onion – $0.32
sprinkle ground black pepper – stock
1 ½ tbs tomato paste – $0.99
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes – $2.60
whole wheat linguine or spaghetti – $2.99
Grated parmesan (optional) – $4.50
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen & including parmesan: $18.63
Cost per serving: $3.11

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute (stirring). Add onion, increase heat to medium and cook until onions start to turn translucent, stirring frequently (about 4 minutes).

2. Add the wine, tomato paste, thyme, black pepper, oregano, and red-pepper flakes to the onions; bring to a simmer. Cook until liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup, (about 5 minutes).

3. Add the diced tomatoes, water and clam juice to the skillet. Raise the heat to high and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

4. Add the clams to the skillet and heat through at a simmer. Continue simmering until the clams are just done, about 1 minute longer. Taste the sauce for salt, and add more if needed.

5. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine or spaghetti until just done, (according to package directions). Drain and toss with sauce. Top with parmesan, if desired.