In order to get any of the fermentable sugars out of pale malt, you need to mash it. It isn't really any more complicated than steeping, you just need to get the temperature right. Search partial mash here and you'll find lots of info.
If your beers are coming out darker than they should, you can try adding some/most of the extract at the end of the brew. All extract tends to darken as it boils.