Best Ever Red Pesto Sauce with Canned Clams
My classic recipe includes fresh basil and a large can of chopped tomatoes, but I recently tried it with pesto sauce that I had frozen earlier from fresh basil, along with a bit of tomato paste supplemented by Clamato juice. It was delicious, too! For this blog, I’ve included only the best ever classic recipe.
I use gluten-free pasta in my recipes, and Barilla’s is by far the best I have found. It cooks just like regular pasta and has the perfect consistency when done.
Red Pesto Sauce with Canned Clams
2 cans of chopped clams, liquid reserved
1 cup fresh basil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
Additional 1 tablespoon olive oil
Barilla’s gluten-free spaghetti
Prepare a pot of water for the spaghetti, add a drop of olive oil to the water to keep pasta from sticking. While waiting for water to boil, open the cans of chopped clams, and remember to drain and reserve the clam juice in another container. Set aside. Meanwhile, add a tablespoon of olive oil to your favorite large cooking pan and add the chopped clams. Stir briefly on medium heat, then turn heat off while you prepare the pesto.
Using a food processor or blender, add the reserved clam juice, the garlic cloves, 1/4 cup olive oil, and the fresh basil. Blend well. Open the large can of chopped tomatoes. If needed, add some of the liquid from the canned tomatoes to the blender or food processor. Add the parmesan cheese and blend again. Pour the blended pesto sauce over the clams in the pan. Finally, add the rest of the canned tomatoes and mix well. Heat on medium heat as you stir the pan and when the sauce bubbles, reduce the heat to low. You may pour a little olive oil around the top of the sauce while it is cooking; eventually the olive oil will become absorbed into the sauce. Continue to stir periodically as the sauce thickens, for about 20 minutes.
At any point in the preparation, once the water is at a full boil, you may add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Stir immediately to separate the strands. Continue cooking the spaghetti until you can lift a strand out of the boiling water with a pasta fork, let it cool and then take a taste test to find out if it is “al dente,” meaning it offers resistance to the bite but is not too hard or too mushy. Once the spaghetti is done just right, take a hot pad and remove the pot from the stove to a colander and drain it well under running water to remove the starch. This will prevent the spaghetti from sticking together.
Pour the sauce over the spaghetti, add a little Parmesan cheese or Italian parsley for garnish and enjoy!