Put 5 litres water on to boil and salt lightly. Rinse the clams thoroughly under cold water for 1 hour. Discard any broken ones.
When the water is boiling, heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Add a little olive oil to this, and throw in the clams. Do not cover. At the same time drop the spaghettini in the boiling water and stir. Do not cover. The spaghettini will take 8 minutes, so have your colander ready in the sink. The clams will open at odd times. If you are being really fussy, remove the early openers (after 2 or 3 minutes), and set aside. The reason for this is that these early birds will overcook and fall out of their shells, leaving your guests with the extreme disappointment of empty shells.
When the spaghettini is done, drain it, reserving a little water in a jug. Return the pasta swiftly to the pan. Tip in the clams, return to the heat, and add the infused oil and parsley. Toss thoroughly and serve.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.