The simplest things can satisfy the biggest cravings. Every so often I feel the need to snack on something hearty, but without putting too much effort into making it. Whether it’s a lazy weekend morning or just the need for a quick dinner after a long day, it’s always a great idea to have a quick trick up my sleeve.
This recipe is just that: hearty, fruity from fresh tomatoes, and perfectly easy to put together. This is my version of a pasta I sampled in one of my favorite Italian restaurants. I had it for lunch one lazy weekend day when I decided to go on a leisurely stroll in the city. There’s just something about the simplicity of this pasta dish that makes it an amazing comfort food, and it stuck with me. I remembered to make it after I saw a similar recipe in one of my books. And it didn’t disappoint.
The ingredients are few, and chances are, they’ll be in the cupboard and the fridge. Probably the only thing not readily available are the clams, but I make it a point to have a can or two ready for sudden meal emergencies. Fresh clams will always be preferrable to canned ones, but to make things easy, I’m using the ones from a tin. Also, I’m not using the big tomatoes normally used in salads, but rather the smaller, oblate ones because I like the flavor better.
- 1 290g can of baby clams (or 3/4 cup of cooked baby clam meat)
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly crosswise
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 250g dry spaghetti
First, cook the dry pasta based on package directions. Don’t forget to add some salt to the pasta water. The trick when cooking pasta to prevent them from sticking to one another is to use plenty of water. Adding oil to the pasta water will not do the trick.
While the pasta is cooking, heat up a generous amount of olive oil in a pan, about 3 tablespoons. Before the oil gets too hot, add the garlic. This will give the garlic time to flavor the oil before it starts browning. When the garlic is beginning to brown, toss in the tomatoes and cook them for three minutes. Add the clam meat, basil and pepper. Cook for another three minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the pasta water. Taste and add salt if needed.
Drain the pasta and toss immediately into the sauce. Serve hot with a little extra dried basil. Makes 3-4 servings.