angel hair with clams and parmesan

Happy Labo(u)r Day, my friends! I hope you are thoroughly enjoying your day off if you are lucky enough to have one. I’ve been using my long weekend to plow through a home improvement to-do list the length of my arm (which you can see more about here). And after spending the past three days spackling, sanding and painting, the last thing I wanted to do was come inside and whip together some elaborate meal for dinner. Working hard on my house tends to make me quite lazy in other areas of my life. Like cooking. Or, you know, bathing.

This pasta dish is one of my go-tos for an easy-peasy dinner. It comes together in a snap, is pretty customizable (use clams, don’t use clams, put in chicken, put in tofu, put in bacon, whatever!) and totally flavorful. A big bowl of this pasta with a heaping pile of parmesan on top makes the aches from being hunched over spray painting for four hours less painful. That and the giant glass of wine I tend to have on the side with it.

If you want to up the health ante, you could toss in a handful of spinach in the hot pasta. The steam from the pasta wilts the spinach without over-cooking it, making it the perfect texture. Me? I’ll stick to my plain ole heaping bowl of complex carbs and cheese, thankyouverymuch. I’ll eat some celery later. I promise. Balance, people. Balance.

Here’s hoping you’re have an amazing day off!

Angel Hair with Parmesan and Clams

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • 10 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-6.5 ounce cans clams, undrained
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add angel hair and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Strain pasta, reserving cooking water, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook until fragrant and garlic is tender. Add in canned clams (including juice) and increase heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove clam mixture from heat, add in pasta, 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and Parmesan cheese. Stir until pasta has absorbed most of the liquid. Add more pasta cooking water if pasta is dry. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Serve with more Parmesan cheese on top.
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How are you spending your Labor Day? Anyone doing anything fun?


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