A Few Simple Ingredients And You Have Dinner

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26, 1997

Some nights it seems as though there is really nothing to make for dinner. Your refrigerator is empty. You can’t face any more Chinese takeout.

You’ve reached the moment when a well-stocked pantry can save the day. A couple of cans of chopped clams, a can of tomato paste and some spaghetti can quickly be transformed into dinner.

Linguine With Spicy Red Clam Sauce

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice

2 (6-1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, 1/2 cup juice reserved

1 pound linguine or spaghetti

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Add the clam juice and the 1/2 cup canned clam juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta. Add the clams, parsley, red pepper flakes and pepper to the skillet and heat through. Pour the mixture over the pasta and toss well to combine. Serve with the Parmesan cheese on the side, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 628 calories, 42 grams protein, 92 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fat (13 percent fat calories), 68 milligrams cholesterol, 473 milligrams sodium.

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