Now sprinkle some roughly chopped parsley and grated lemon zest over the pasta. Toss the pasta one last time and serve.
Useful tips and interesting facts
Before being cooked, the clams must be placed in cold salted water, in some ways similar to seawater. The live clams will release their impurities and sand in the salty water. Choose medium/small clams for this recipe which will be easier to plate up and are always tastier. Never add salt to the clam sauce because these molluscs are naturally briny. Taste the sauce to adjust the flavour as you go. Take care when sautéing the garlic to cut little slits on its surface; in this way the garlic will release its full flavour and aroma.
You may prepare this spaghetti dish in a white clam sauce as described above or, in a more colourful version, with the addition of a few cherry tomatoes cut in half. If you prefer, shell all the clams beforehand so that the final dish looks neater and is easier to eat. In many parts of southern Italy, spaghetti and clams are served with the addition of salicornia, a sort of green alga which gives a very interesting taste to this first course. Blanch the salicornia in boiling water for 5 minutes before straining and add to the clam sauce shortly before it is completely cooked.