My all-time favorite pasta dishes is Pasta alle Vongole. I'm embarrassed to admit that I eat it at least once every day when I'm in Italy!
I start with about 2 1/2 pounds of clams. In a large saute pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Saute 2 chopped shallots and 5 garlic cloves. Add the clams, 1/2 cup white wine, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer until clams have opened. Discard any that do not open. Whisk in 2 tablespoons butter.
Toss in unrinsed, cooked pasta. Add pasta cooking water to moisten. Sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley.