Marks’s book has a Japanese style Clam pasta dish (p121). This is a much simpler version but the idea is the same. We are not sure how we ended up with this receipe but this is fairly simple and quick pasta dish and will be ideal for the last starch dish in Home Izakaya.
Short of having fresh small clams, the important ingredient is good quality canned baby clams – not chopped clams (which tend to be too tough and chewy). We use a 10oz can of “Sun of Italy” brand (see photo) for 2 small servings. I am sure there are many similarly good brands. Drain the clams retaining the juice, set aside. I add olive oil (2 tbs) to a frying pan and add thinly sliced garlic (3-4 cloves, we like lots of garlic but use at your discretion) in medium-low heat until garlic is fragrant and lightly browned (again do not burn, it will become bitter). Add reserved clam juice and 3 tbs of sake (or dry white vermouth) and reduce to 1/2 to 1/3 of the original volume (5 minutes on high heat). Meanwhile, I cook the angel hair pasta (about 3 minutes in boiling water). I add 1/3 cup of cream to the pan as well as the clams. I reduce the sauce briefly and add, usually, finely chopped parsley but this time I used baby arugula (as much as you like, it will cook down quite a bit). When sauce is reduced and the green is wilted, add the angel hair pasta. Although, parmesan cheese is supposedly not to be used for sea food pasta, we like it on this dish. Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper. I happened to make Baguette a few weekends ago (which was sliced and frozen). It appeared as an accompaniment for this dish. The usual choice of wine would be white but we rarely drink white so this night, we had this with a very inexpensive but quite decent weekday red wine, South Eastern Australian Shiraz “Reddust” 2007.