2 tsp kosher salt
12 garlic cloves divided
2 cups sourdough bread cut into 1/4 inch cubes (can also just use regular bread crumbs)
zest of one lemon
2 tbsp + 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 oil packed anchovy fillets (optional)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (plus more for serving)
1/4 cup of dry white wine
2 pounds little neck or cherrystone clams (about 24)
12 oz spaghetti or linguine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced parsley
Bring 2 tbsp salt and about 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.
In a food processor pulse together 3 cloves of garlic and bread until fine crumbs form. Stir in lemon zest. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Toast breadcrumbs until golden and crisp. About 7 - 10 minutes. Remove breadcrumbs and place into a bowl to set aside. Wipe down dutch oven with a paper towel. Thinly slice garlic with a mandolin or by hand. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in the dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden around the edges (2-3 minutes). Add in red pepper flakes and anchovies if using. Stir and cook for another two minutes. Add white wine to the pan and simmer for three minutes. Add in clams and cover the pot until clams are opened (about 5-8 minutes). Discard any clams that do not open. Remove clams and set aside. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook for five minutes. Using a ladle or measuring glass take 2 cups of pasta water and add to the sauce. Then slowly add pasta to the sauce pan. Keep cooking pasta until al dente. Remove the dutch oven from heat and add in 2 tbsp of butter to pasta, minced parsley, and roughly 1/2 of the toasted breadcrumbs. Stir to combine and then add in the clams. Serve pasta in individual bowls and top with breadcrumbs and additional red pepper flakes.