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White Clam Sauce, Brothy-Style
Our favorite clam sauce by far.

8 very large chowder clams (each about 8 to 10 ounces)
a little bottled clam juice (if necessary)
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 pounds small Manila clams, scrubbed
1/4 cup very finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Open the chowder clams, making sure to catch all the clam juice. Mince the clams and reserve them. Pour the clam juice into a large measuring cup; it should come to about 2 cups. (If it doesn't, make up the difference with bottled clam juice.) Then add 1/2 cup water, making 2 1/2 cups liquid in all.
2. Pour the olive oil into a wide, heavy pot over moderate heat. Add the minced garlic, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the garlic just starts to turn brown. Add a little clam juice to loosen the garlic, then add the remaining 2 1/2 cups juice. Simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Bring clam juice to a boil, and add the Manila clams. Cover. Within 2 minutes or so, their shells should swing open; remove the Manila clams from the pot, and place them in a bowl. Reduce heat to low under clam juice in pot, and add the reserved, raw, minced clams. Cook very gently for 1/2 minute.
4. Make sure the pasta is done at this point. Spill the pasta into a colander, and place the pasta cooking pot over low heat. Return the pasta to the cooking pot. Add two thirds of the clam broth plus the liquid that has collected in the bowl of Manila clams. Add 3 tablespoons of the minced parsley. Stir to blend, about 1 minute. Taste for seasoning. Divide pasta among 5 to 6 individual pasta bowls, and top with the remaining clam broth, remaining parsley, and the Manila clams. Serve immediately.

This is our favorite clam sauce by far. Like all clam sauce, it's good on linguine -- but its delicacy marries even better with very thin, long pasta, like capellini. Makes enough sauce for 1 pound dried pasta