Ingredients

3 quarts water (salt optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 pounds live clams, Manila or littleneck, well scrubbed, in their shells
º teaspoon red pepper flakes
º teaspoon salt
1 cup white wine
1 cup clam juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
? cup canned or homemade tomato sauce (see link)
1 pound pasta, linguine, spaghetti or spaghettini

Directions

1. In a large pot, bring the water to boil with or without the optional salt.
2. Pour the oil into a large sautÈ pan set on medium heat, and cook the garlic until it starts to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add the clams, red pepper flakes and salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the clam juice, parsley and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until all the clams have opened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Take the clams out of the sauce, place in a bowl and let them sit for a few minutes. Discard those that still haven’t opened. Take half of the clams out of their shells and mince them. Add all the clams to the simmering sauce about 3 minutes before the pasta is done. Mix well and cover.
4. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions until just tender. Drain well and return to the pot. Add the sauce, toss to coat well and cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes. Most of the sauce should be absorbed.

Here is Nick Stellino's method for cleaning clams: when you bring the clams home, put them in a bowl of cold water for 10 to 15 minutes, then drain. Do this twice. It will help to clean out any grit, sand and dirty water. Scrub the shells with a vegetable brush or plastic scrubber.

Pasta With Clams
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