I spent a good chunk of my childhood and young adulthood in New England--summers and college in Maine, grad school and another stint in Cambridge--and I adore the Cape and Nantucket. This summer, I was craving the beach and a clam bake, but with my honey away, didn't want to make all that food for one. This is what I came up with instead--there's hardly any cooking at all--just boiling the pasta water and sauteing the clams with a little garlic. The tomatoes, corn and parsley go in at the very end. It became my summer staple. —Rebecca
cloves of garlic, minced
ears of corn
pint cherry or grape tomatoes
olive oil (approximately--I probably use a bit less)
Put on some water for pasta, well-salted (think about sea water). While the water is getting up to a strong boil, mince garlic, cut kernels off the cob, and half the tomatoes. Mince the parsley.
Cook the pasta to just before it reaches al dente. Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Heat up the olive oil and saute the garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the clams. If the clams are stubborn, cover. Once all the clams open, add the corn, tomatoes, and parsley.
Add the pasta to finish cooking with the clams, tomatoes, etc--probably only a minute or two. If it seems dry, add some pasta water.