As I continue to try to use food therapy to cure everything wrong with me and destroy every last infecting germ, I’m bringing out the garlic big guns. This one is perfect for the exhausted sick person with a returned appetite, not much time to shop for fresh ingredients, and a well-stocked pantry.
Quick Spaghetti & White Clam Sauce
This was for a single serving, so keep that in mind when figuring your own proportions. I chopped up 2 decent sized garlic cloves (probably a tablespoon total) and cooked it over a low flame in 1/4 cup of olive oil until it was fragrant (this will take only a minute or two). Then, I added the juice from 1 can of minced clams (I always have a stack of these in the cupboard for quick pasta meals), some fresh cracked black pepper, about a tablespoon of dried chopped basil, and SECRET INGREDIENT ALERT about 1/4 teaspoon (a splash, really) of Thai fish sauce. This way, instead of merely adding salt, I also get a little anchovy taste with the salt, and it saves me the trouble of using actual canned anchovy during the garlic cooking stage. (You can do that if you like, or you can substitute worcestershire if you don’t have Thai fish sauce, but remember with worcestershire you might want to lighten up on the black pepper). You can also add about 1/4 cup of white wine at this point, but I didn’t since I tend not to drink when I get sick. In either case, bring this mixture to a boil and then lower to a simmer to let it cook down and reduce by about half (whether there’s wine in it or not).
While it’s reducing, you can start the pasta cooking. I used a spaghetti that cooks in about 11 minutes. When there’s about 5 minutes to go, add the reserved minced clams to the sauce and mix, and let the cooking sauce heat up the clams – they don’t need to cook long. Drain the pasta, return to the pot, toss with the sauce, sprinkle with a little lemon juice, or garnish with fresh lemon wedges for some squeezin’ and serve immediately.
Nice ‘n’ clammy ‘n’ garlicky. And hopefully it will grab those germs by the nose and kick ’em in the ass!