Make a simple white clam sauce and you have the primary component for two Italian-American classics. To make a pasta dish with clams, use the canned variety to give yourself a break, rinsing them well, and discarding tiny pieces of broken shell. Simmer the clams with garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper, and toss with linguine. Creme fraiche and bacon give the dish a nice richness that makes it festive this time of year.
The second classic is white clam pizza. Buy pizza dough several days in advance to let it relax in the fridge and become easier to work with. For this recipe, you don’t need a pizza stone, but you do need a very hot oven (some pizza experts suggest turning the oven up as far as it will go; we found success at 500 degrees). Add ricotta and more creme fraiche to Sunday’s clam sauce to make a creamy white topping for the dough, then bake on the bottom rack of the oven until the edges golden. Finish with a generous sprinkle of parsley and crisp bacon. Dinner will be ready faster than you can reach for the phone and say “deliver.”