I have a lot of fans of pasta with white clam sauce around here, but I don't want to serve it as a main dish. I have concocted a lighter version, with fewer clams but still plenty of flavor. Real Italians, please don't be offended that I've messed with your food heritage.
PASTA WITH WHITE CLAM SAUCE AS A SIDE
1 pound linguini, spaghetti or angel hair
2 6-ounce cans of whole clams
3 minced garlic cloves
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
copious amounts of fresh ground black pepper
2 cups pasta cooking water
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Pour some of the cooking water into a 2 cup measuring cup, and set aside, then drain the pasta and put your pot lid on top of the colander to keep the pasta hot. Return your pot to the stove, and pour enough olive oil into the pot to just cover the bottom. Turn the stove to medium heat and saute the minced garlic and scallions for a minute. Add the parsley, and cook another minute. Add the clams with the juice from the can, quickly heat through, then add the pasta back to the pan and turn off the heat. Stir the pasta to combine it with the sauce, and add enough of the reserved pasta water to give it your desired consistency. Serve at once.
This is very fast, very flavorful and relatively low calorie (and it only uses one pan, so cleanup is easy). What more could you want in January, when we are all still resolving to lose a few pounds?
(And, yes, we are still using our Christmas dishes. I'm not allowed to put them away until all of the kids have returned to college, January 17th).