Back in the day before the Internet cookbooks were the primary source for new recipes. For me, anyway. An early and reliable favorite was Fannie Farmer. While I derived endless entertainment from the name and the images it conjured, I found all the basics needed for good ol’ American cooking and plenty of exotic recipes, to boot.
One of latter was the recipe for Spaghetti with Clams. The balance of fresh or canned clams and loads of sautéed chopped garlic spiced up with red pepper flakes in a creamy sauce over spaghetti became a signature dish for me. That’s where the bookmark ribbon was parked for years.
Recently I found myself with most of the ingredients and a Jones for that garlic clam combination. But it was a hot day and I didn’t feel like the heavy creamy aspect of the Fannie Farmer recipe. I found a couple of intriguing alternate recipes online including one from Rachel Ray who melted a couple of anchovies into the sauce. From those inspirations I came up with a simpler, lighter and possibly healthier version that turned out to be just as satisfying — if not more so — than the original.