Unlike many creamy or cheesy pasta dishes from Italy, pasta with clam sauce is inherently low in fat, just the way it’s been cooked for generations.
The secret lies in using only enough olive oil to cook the garlic. The rest is easy, cooking down the chunky clam-tomato sauce until it reaches the exact thickness you want.
Pasta with Red Clam Sauce
10-ounce can whole baby clams
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Two 4 1/2- or 16-ounce cans whole Italianstyle tomatoes, cut up
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
8 ounces pasta, such as medium shell, mostaccioli or cavatelli
Drain clams, reserving juice; set aside. In a large skillet cook garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add black pepper and red pepper. Cook and stir for 30 seconds more.
Add reserved clam juice and undrained tomatoes to skillet. Stir in parsley, basil and anchovy paste, if desired.
Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Stir in clams; heat through.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Serve clam sauce over hot cooked pasta.
Yield: 4 main-dish servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 334 calories, 6 grams fat, 44 milligrams cholesterol, 16 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 395 milligrams sodium.
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