White clam sauce can be made with canned clams or fresh littleneck clams, depending on what is available to you. Either way, this pasta dish makes a great quick supper, served with crusty hot bread and a salad on the side. Be careful not to overcook the clams.
Drain the clams and reserve the juice. Or measure out 1 cup of the clam-steaming liquid and set aside.
In a medium-size saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over low heat. Add the garlic and simmer for about 3 minutes, just until the garlic begins to color; do not let the garlic turn brown or the sauce will taste bitter. Add the parsley, salt, and clam juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the clams and cook just enough to heat through.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the package directions. Drain. Place the pasta in individual serving bowls and pour the sauce on top.