Bucatini with Red Clam Sauce and Hot Pepper

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

This recipe calls for mostly canned and jarred items. Keep them on hand, and you'll always have the fixings for a satisfying dinner.


  • Coarse salt

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • Red-pepper flakes

  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole plum tomatoes, chopped, plus ½ cup juice

  • 2 cans (6.5 ounces each) chopped clams, drained, reserving 1 cup clam juice

  • 1 tablespoon capers (preferably salt-packed), rinsed and drained

  • ¾ pound bucatini (perciatelli) or other long pasta

  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling


  1. While bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, heat oil with garlic, oregano, and a large pinch of red-pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until fragrant and garlic is golden, about 2 minutes.

  2. Stir in tomatoes and their juice, and the reserved clam juice. Bring to a simmer, and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in clams and capers, and cook until heated through.

  3. When water boils, add pasta to boiling water, and cook until almost al dente, about 10 minutes (do not drain water). Transfer pasta to skillet using a strainer. Gradually stir in 1 cup pasta water, about 1/2 cup at a time, and cook over low heat, tossing, until pasta has absorbed some sauce and is well coated, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Divide among 4 bowls. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with red-pepper flakes and coarse sea salt.


Cook's Notes

Heating olive oil with garlic cloves, red-pepper flakes, and dried oregano creates a gutsy, boldly flavored base for a rustic tomato sauce. Chopped clams and their juice, an often overlooked pantry staple, are an easy alternative to fresh seafood.

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