Poor Man's Spaghetti & Clam Sauce Recipe

There are some things that just taste like childhood to me. One thing my mom made a lot when I was a kid was this version of spaghetti and clam sauce. It's nothing fancy, but it tastes great. It's not that I don't like the fancy version of spaghetti and clam sauce...it's just that this is different. It's a nostalgic, poor man's version that you can make for pennies and enjoy in a hurry.

Those of you who grew up the way I did (poor Italian-Americans) have likely already had this. My husband? Won't touch it. I always make it on my own. But for those of you who know, you'll know and I know you'll appreciate this as much as I do. Because sometimes it's the little things in life. For those of you who don't, give it a try, perhaps you'll be pleasantly surprised in a poor man way.

There are two things you absolutely have to have to make this: a can of white clam sauce (prepared) and an extra can of chopped clams to beef this sucker up. I'm gonna add a couple more things to it, too, but these are the must haves. In addition to pasta, of course. 

So, get your pasta water going and when it's boiling add a half a pound of pasta. 

Then, pour your canned clam sauce in a small pot and drain your chopped clams and add them too. Now, you can leave the clam juice in the chopped clams if you want to, but I didn't want to. I wanted it to be more clammy, not more juicy. 

Then I also add two tablespoons of butter and three cloves of minced garlic. I love garlic. Feel free to add less garlic, but it won't be as good.

Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and let it bubble until the pasta is done. 

When the pasta is done, drain and put it back your pot but not over the heat. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss it all together. 

And serve.... 

I love to put hot sauce on mine. It's the perfect flavor combination in my opinion. And then top liberally with parmesan cheese! Liberally. 

Poor Man's Spaghetti & Clam Sauce Recipe 

Time: 15 minutes, tops | Makes 4 smaller servings or 2 bigger ones | Difficulty: Easy 

You Will Need:

1- 15 ounce can prepared clam sauce 
1- 6.5 ounce can chopped clams, drained 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound of pasta (I like thin, you can use whatever you like you rebel!) 
hot sauce (optional)
parmesan cheese 


Get your pasta water boiling, and salt if that's your style. When the water is boiling, add your pasta and cook according to manufacturer's directions. 

Meanwhile, add your clam sauce and chopped clams to a small saucepan. Add the butter and garlic and bring it all to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is ready. 

When the pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the pan, but do not put it on the heat. Pour the sauce into the pasta and toss. 

Serve topped with hot sauce (optional) and a good hearty amount of parmesan cheese! 

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