Clams and mint in a spicy tomato-lemon sauce*

I clammed the clams yesterday, and the mint is growing like a weed in the windowbox. I wanted to try a new take on clam sauce, and this is what I put together. It’s an amalgam of several strong flavors, so it may not be for everyone, but we liked it a lot.

Red Clam Sauce with Mint, Capers, and Lemon
(serves 2)

1 t. vegetable oil (I use canola)
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 t. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped capers
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 cup chopped clams
1/3 cup chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown.

2. Add the red pepper, tomatoes, capers, and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until a bit of the liquid has boiled off, about 10 minutes. Add the clams, mint, salt, and pepper, and cook just until everything is heated through. Serve over about half a pound of pasta.