One of the things I love most about cruising Desolation Sound is the abundance of shellfish at hand. Anyone with a strong hand (for digging clams), an able arm (for picking oysters), and a fit back (for pulling a prawn pot) can exist forever on the bounty of the area.
We normally eat our clams “naked’: simply steamed in their own juice. Because of the high ration of fresh water to salt in this area, the clams are the sweetest, least “fishy” tasting I have ever found. if fact, they’re so good, I refuse to eat them at any other time than during our summer cruises.
1 lb. linguine, I prefer the Italian made, dried.
5 doz. manila clams (ideal size is approx. 1-1 1/2 inch across, but may be bigger)
4 tblsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced very thinly
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
zest of 2 lemons (about 1-1 1/2 tblsp.)
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1-2 tblsp, to taste)
3/4+ cup dry white wine
3/4+ cup clam nectar
1 tsp. Chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Saute the sliced garlic in olive oil until tender, over low heat, so as not to brown. Add white wine, chili flakes and simmer 5 minutes over low heat.
Rinse clams and place them in a pot big enough to hold double the capacity. Cover and turn heat to high. Do not add water! As soon as clams steam and open, turn off the heat. Remove 3/4 cup of broth and add to the garlic and olive oil mixture. Keep clams covered until used.
Heat water for pasta, add a tablespoon of salt to the water and brig to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente…about one minute less than called for on the package. Drain. Return to pot
Pour “sauce” over the pasta, add the shopped parsley and lemon zest and some parmesan cheese. Toss. Place the pasta and some of the sauce in bowls (I make sure there is enough “sauce-broth” in each bowl for dipping garlic bread), place a dozen or so clams in the shell on top. Serve.