Some days, I just want to order out, to eat out, to find some way not to cook dinner myself. Of course, those days come about because I'm overworked or overstressed in some other part of my life, and so I haven't had time to look around for any new idea to inspire, or even to go to the grocery story to buy anything to get inspired by (or even to use). And by Murphy's Law, those are also days when there is some practical reason why it really would be best if I cooked. By now it's day three or five (I stopped counting) like this, and I've even used up all of my old standbys. Or so I think. This one was so dusty that when Blanca asked, to help me out, "do we have any clams?" I said "no" and wondered how on earth she thought I'd have stopped at the grocery story to get fresh clams if I didn't even have time to... Then, very slowly, it dawned on me: she wasn't talking about fresh clams. Before I discovered my quick tomato-meat sauce, my old fast pasta standby was pasta with clams. It's about as easy as they come and popular with kids, though seasonal only in as much as it's always this time in the year when I reach this kind of burnout.
Pasta with Clams
3 cans chopped clams, drained
2 T butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
1 lb pasta
Cook and drain the pasta, toss in other indredients, and serve with extra romano or parmesan cheese for sprinkling.
At various moments, I've tried fancying this up by adding all sorts of white wine sauces, and honestly this bare bones version is best. The only way to turn this fancy is to go all the way and use fresh clams. If you are going that far, poach about 1 lb of fresh clams in champagne (Bring 3/4 bottle of champagne to a rapid boil, toss in the clams, shucked and cleaned, for 5-10 minutes). In the meantime make a light sauce by simmering for with the rest of the champagne, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp lemon zest,salt and pepper. When pasta is cooked, toss with clams, sauce,1/2 cup chopped parsley and 1 cup grated romano.