Fresh clams, 2 pounds (preferably Manila clams)
Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons
Garlic cloves, 6 medium (thinly sliced)
Whole dried chile, 1
Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon
Dry white wine, 1 cup
Dry spaghetti, 8 ounces
Fresh oregano sprigs, 4 (leaves picked from the stem and roughly chopped; about 1 tablespoon of roughly chopped leaves)
1. In a large bowl of cold water, add the:
Let the clams soak for 20 minutes. Use a soft-bristled brush or rough-textured clean kitchen sponge to scrub the clams. Place the clams in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.
While the clams soak, fill a large pot with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Sliced garlic
- Dried chile
Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Season the garlic with:
- Scrubbed clams
- Dry white wine
Cook until the clams open, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and use the slotted spoon to transfer the clams to a large bowl.
3. Once the pot of water is boiling, add the:
- Remaining 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Dry spaghetti
Cook the spaghetti for 3 minutes less than the recommended al dente cooking time (for example, 6 minutes for pasta that cooks to al dente in 9 minutes). Set ½ cup of the pasta cooking water aside, then drain the spaghetti into a clean colander. Transfer the spaghetti to the skillet with the white wine sauce.
4. Cook the spaghetti in the sauce over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the broth absorbs into the noodles and the spaghetti is al dente, 3 to 4 minutes (add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water if needed). Turn off the heat, and to the skillet, add the:
- Cooked clams
- Oregano leaves
- Remaining 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Divide the spaghetti and clams into 2 bowls and serve with an extra bowl on the side for the clam shells.