Clam Spaghetti

Clam spaghetti doesn’t sound very glamorous, but it is one of my family’s favorites and has been for years.  It also works great if you have unexpected company for dinner as long as you have some canned clams on hand.  One of the best things is that it utilizes ingredients that are staples and/or shelf stable.  The sauce cooks in the time that it takes to bring water to a boil and cook the pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (6.5 oz) chopped or minced clams  with their liquid, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter (you can substitute up to half of it with olive oil if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 16 oz. thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • Lemon pepper (to taste)
  • Parmesan cheese (to taste)
Directions:
Start heating the water to cook the pasta (follow package directions).  Melt butter in small saucepan, add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not brown.  Add only the liquid from the canned clams, reserving the “meat”.  Add parsley and simmer until the you have added the pasta to the boiling water.  Add the clams and heat, making sure not to boil.  (Boiling makes the clams tough.)  
Drain pasta and combine sauce and hot pasta, mixing well.  (I like to slightly undercook the pasta and then let it set for a couple of minutes after stirring in the sauce.  The pasta continues to cook and really soaks up the sauce.)  After dishing up onto a plate, sprinkle with lemon pepper and Parmesan cheese – don’t skimp!  Do not skip the lemon pepper or the cheese – it really adds to the taste.
About the only side I usually fix is some garlic bread, but a salad goes great with it also.

If you really want to get fancy, you can add some white wine and/or small shrimp to the sauce.

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