We live on the Carolina coastline and our friend and colleague Richard loves to go clamming. I once went with him to share the pleasure of slogging through the skanky mud in two thousand percent humidity, and clawing the elusive clams out of the reeds. After about 90 minutes, and after I had dug myself out of the slime because I headed forward but my hip boots stayed behind, we headed home with about a dozen clams each and wondered if it was worth it.
It was, and I look forward to doing it again.
But not for awhile.
The clams in this dish, however, were not from that day. These market clams beckoned from the cool crushed ice in the seafood aisle and were far more accessible than those locked in the roots of the bulrushes.
The broth was made of softened onions and garlic simmered in olive oil, white wine and diced tomatoes with some bay leaf, fresh basil, oregano, and a teaspoon of seafood demi-glace. The clams were roasted in a dry pan to concentrate their juices, then added to the broth along with jumbo rings of boiled calamarata pasta. Topped with chopped olives and peppers from the market's self-serve olive bar, the briny olive medley is all the salt you need.