One-Pot Pasta with Clam Sauce
One-Pot Pasta with Clam Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes 2 servings


  • 1 6.5-ounce can chopped clams
  • about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups dry white wine and/or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces (1/4 pound) bucatini, linguine, or spaghetti
  • 1 large handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Place a mesh colander or strainer over a 2-cup measuring cup or medium bowl and drain the canned clams, reserving the clams and their juice separately. You’ll have about 3/4 cup clam juice; add enough wine or broth to make 2 1/4 cups total liquid. Reserve an extra 1/4 cup liquid just in case.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a deep 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and the clam juice and increase the heat to medium.
  3. Bring to a simmer and add the pasta. Bend and press the strands into the liquid to help them soften, stirring until all the pasta is mostly submerged. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is almost al dente and has absorbed most of the liquid. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly and the pasta is still a little toothy, turn the heat down and add the remaining 1/4 cup liquid.
  4. Stir the reserved clams and parsley into the pasta. and continue to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt if needed—I usually find that the clams give the dish enough briny body—and pepper to taste, and top with Parmesan if that’s your thing.
  5. Eat it all. Don’t even bother putting half of it in a storage container for later.