Pantry meal: linguine with (red) clam sauce

It’s ironic that just when our ability to go out to eat on a whim is coming to an end, we rediscover our homebody ways and start eating at home (again).  Over the past month, we’ve eaten at home more than we had in a while and it feels really good. Our weight has stabilized (well, mine anyway), our kitchen is cleaner (who wants to cook surrounded by a mess?) and our budget is happier.

I didn’t get around to grocery shopping this weekend, a task I used to love but now find stressful and tiring, so we’ve been eating “pantry meals” (though technically we pull ingredients from our deep freezer sometimes).  Last night we had stir fry from an old family recipe (ha): chicken, frozen veggies, and soy sauce steamed then pan-seared. Because we tend to have these things in our pantry, I added fish sauce and oyster sauce and Joey loaded his down with sriracha.

Side note: if we ever disappeared and someone had to guess at the characteristics of the residents of this house based on our pantry, they’d assume we were Asian. We can’t help ourselves; each time we visit the Oriental grocery store, we come home with bottles and cans and bags of stuff we know nothing about but can’t stop ourselves from putting in the cart.

I meant to go to the grocery store today but it didn’t happen so we had another (true) pantry meal: linguine with (red) clam sauce.  Why do people buy jarred tomato-based pasta sauce? It’s so easy and quick to make your own! A can of tomatoes (we prefer Hunt’s diced, no salt added), some olive oil, spices (even a dried Italian spice mix) and 30 minutes on simmer and you have a healthy, tasty sauce. Jack it up by adding some butter or onion (or both), fresh spices, ground beef, green peppers, mushrooms, carrots, whatever… so easy (and cheap and lower in sodium and preservatives).

Tonight I found a dried out heel of good cheese in the fridge and a can of chopped clams and bag of garlic croutons in the pantry – voila!

Your turn: what’s your favorite “oh, crap, I don’t have anything good to eat in the fridge” meal?

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2 thoughts on “Pantry meal: linguine with (red) clam sauce

  1. 3 options-

    My grandma’s “pork lo mien”- spaghetti, pork, peppers, carrots (both which can be bought flash frozen in bulk) garlic, soy and lots of black pepper

    Red beans and rice- red beans and rice with left over vegetables, texas pete and cornbread

    Fried Rice- Rice, carrots, onions, peas, egg, tomato paste, garlic, hot sauce and soy.

  2. We call it kitchen sink pasta. We clean out the fridge, and all the carrots, half-used bell peppers, half-tomatoes, half zucchinis, etc. go into a pasta sauce (note to self, will start making my own) with some family-made sausage and then onto noodles. Super easy, gets rid of everything in the fridge. MMMM.

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