Super… MONK & Spicy Red Clam Sauce

While the rest of the world was watching dudes in tight pants run into each other last night, Mr. Rader and I were stuffing our faces with Mellow Mushroom pizza and watching Monk.  Sounds awesome, right, I know. We’re not really into football, something we’ve discovered has made us leper-like in our suburban corner of the South.  Notice, I always capitalize the South when referring to it… a, because I’m not entirely sure whether it’s supposed to be capitalized or not (oops, English major fail) and b, because, well… it really is its own entity.

Although, I am pretty impressed with the Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. It’s like cute explosion — there’s seriously no other way to describe it.

In completely unrelated news, last weekend I had a hankerin’ for some pasta with clam sauce.  Silly me, for the longest I thought this was something my mother had just thrown together in the kitchen to satisfy a clam craving when I was but a wee one.


One night, at an Italian restaurant, I leaned over and peeked at Mr. Rader’s menu and asked my routine, “Whatcha gettin’?”

Now, I don’t know why I do this.  I feel as though I’ve got to know what everyone else is eating before I make my own decision.

Maybe… it’s ’cause I don’t want to be the weird one ordering pickled octopus while everyone else is ordering chicken fingers.  Let’s face it, if that ever happened, I’d be getting new friends.

Maybe… it’s ’cause I’m wasting time so as to not have to make my own decision.

Maybe… it’s ’cause I really want to see if it’s something that I like, too, so that I can eat off your plate.  Um, yeah, I’d go with that answer.

This particular night my handsome hubby chose Linguine with Red Clam Sauce. Um, what? My mom works here? Since when? And you eat clams?  I knew I liked you!

Re-created at home, it was probably the cheapest meal I’ve ever made (other than my favorite black beans).  Tomato paste, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, one fourth of an onion (you can add more or less, obviously), two cans of minced clams (in their delectable juices! mm), and one can of no salt added diced tomatoes.  The clam juice really has enough salt, I promise. Also, a few tablespoons of olive oil.  She didn’t make it in time for the picture.  And some spices.  Obviously, we were not ready for the family photo.

To maintain a healthy dish, we went with whole wheat linguine, although, in my opinion, angel hair would do beautifully! The clam bits can get lost a little more easily in “hair”.  Go ahead and cook that according to the packaging first, but don’t leave it al dente unless you just really like it that way!

Al dente noodles are just so much better for baked pastas… slippery, buttery noodles are best for getting doused in awesomesauce.

Drizzle in (about 1-2 tablespoons) the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic, letting it get nice and aromatic.  Smell that? That’s the red carpet rolling out for you, my friend. DO NOT LET IT BURN, please, dear Lord, or we are taking that red carpet right back.

Once the garlic drama is over, add the onion and the red pepper flakes, letting the onions brown just a tad.

MONEY SHOT. I’m sure a slew of all kinds of inappropriate words are dying to come out right now, but keep it together.  Pour in your tomatoes and tomato paste, and let everyone melt into one another… err.. well.  You get it.

Sprinkle with basil, parsley, and oregano — preferably fresh, but you do what you gotta do.  I had fresh parsley on hand, so I went for it, and it turned out just as well with dry basil and oregano.  ‘Cause seriously, who’s gonna buy fresh oregano?  And by that I mean we all should, but it’s expensive.

This was an adaptation of this recipe, which is supposed to feed four.  In my house, it fed three.  And we cleansed our palates with a slice of sunflower bread covered in honey butter. Molto delish!


3 thoughts on “Super… MONK & Spicy Red Clam Sauce

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