When I went to the grocery store two weeks ago to stock up on food, there was a run on cans of tuna. Unsure what else to buy, I bought ten cans of minced clams. Looking to use what I had on hand for lunch today, I came up with this recipe. The fresh basil from the garden was so good with the lemon and clams. I really like this dish with bucatini pasta, a thick spaghetti-like noodle with a hollow center. Linguine or plain spaghetti works too. What recipes you are cooking using pantry staples?

Photo by Matthew Mead


Pantry Recipe: Pasta with Clams, Basil & Lemon

  • Author: Ronda Carman
  • Yield: 4 1x


12 ounces pasta, I like Bucatini, a thick hollow spaghetti-like pasta (linguine works too)
1 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
3 cloves garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, minced
¼  cup white wine 
¼ cup clam juice
2 – 6.5 ounce cans minced clams, drained
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
3-4 fresh basil leaves, torn or cut into very thin ribbons
Parmesan cheese, shaved


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions for al dente pasta. Drain the pasta and set aside.

In a large skillet heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, then cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute, careful not to burn the garlic. Add the wine and clam juice cook until reduced by half, about 1-2 minutes. Add the clams and cook a minute longer. Stir in the remaining butter and the lemon juice.

Add the cooked pasta and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cream and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between plates. Topped with lemon zest, basil and Parmesan cheese to taste. Serve


  • Category: dinner
  • Cuisine: pasta

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