California Central Coast Recipes

Red Clam Sauce from the Pantry

Red Clam Sauce from the pantry was inspired by our friend Nick Canigiula of Tuscali Olive Oil Company, who made his version a couple times for us. This is a great emergency recipe when someone drops by unexpectedly! You probably always have the main ingredients on hand anyway. Made with canned clams, coarsely chopped canned tomatoes, tummy-satisfying oregano --and if you have it on-hand, Italian parsley for texture it is almost downright sophisticated.

This is a delicious recipe that brings out the best of canned clams, canned tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, of course a little onion and garlic and a bit of Sweet Marsala wine to smooth everything together. It's a very respectable full-bodied sauce for being thrown together so quickly! You'll be surprised how satisfying this clam sauce is! If you have it, serve it with a little crusty peasant bread, extra- virgin olive oil for dipping and a salad and you've got an "quick banquet!" ©2018, Red Clam Sauce from the Pantry
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


4 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large Onion , chopped
3 large cloves Garlic , chopped
1-1/2 cups canned Whole Tomatoes in tomato juice , drained and coarsely chopped
1 eight ounce can Tomato Sauce
2 six and a half ounce cans Minced Canned Clams , excess juice drained
1/2 to 1 teaspoons Dried oregano OR if you have it
1/3 to 1/2 cups fresh oregano coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons cup Sweet Marsala wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley , optional
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 pound Linguine pasta

Parmesan cheese grated

Preparation Directions.

1 Since this recipe comes together pretty quickly, get your pasta pot on first. Fill it with hot water and put it on high and bring to a boil.

2 In the meantime, in a non-reactive stock pot heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the onion. Stir frequently. When the onion is softened, add in the garlic and saute until fragrant.

3 Add in the coarsely chopped tomatoes and stir the onion tomato mixture thoroughly to disperse well. Add in the tomato sauce. Stir well and let simmer a few minutes.

4 Add in the oregano and stir well. Add in the Marsala wine and continue to simmer.

5 Add in the partially drained clams. Stir well to distribute evenly.

6 When the sauce is the desired consistency, if using, add in the Italian parsley (mainly for color and texture.) Add in the salt and pepper to personal taste.and correct the seasonings. Stir well and set aside.

7 When the pasta water reaches a boil, add in about a tablespoon salt per half-pound pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling salted water. Stir well and cook as directed on package.

8 When pasta is al dente, remove pasta from heat and drain well, In a large family style serving bowl, mix the drained pasta with the clam sauce well, distributing the pasta and clam sauce evenly throughout the mixture. If using, sprinkle a little extra chopped Italian parsley for garnish.

9 Serve family-style and have freshly grated Parmesan cheese available for use at the table.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Since we are using canned tomatoes, this is a very acid/sweet neutral recipe so you can serve with either a white or red wine. If you prefer white, a dry Pinot Grigio would work quite well. Any tomato-friendly red wine such as a young Sangiovese will also go well.

A tip from Sue!

The Practical Cook

At the heart of great cooking is a practical cook. Donít experiment with a new recipe for company.

Use tried and true recipes for those occasions so you can reduce your worries and enjoy the meal and entertaining.