A long time ago, the notion was born that simple pasta sauce should be made by throwing together fresh clams, garlic and maybe some olive oil and white wine.
Since then, home cooks and restaurant chefs have been doing the same, sometimes bringing other ingredients into the mix. No matter how creative or classic the sauce, the key factor remains the clams, which should be pristinely fresh.
Here are some places to go clamming for pasta on Long Island.
RISTORANTE VENERE At this Old World Italian restaurant, it's not surprising that the white clam sauce is a simple classic made with fresh baby clams and plenty of garlic. 841 Carman Ave., Westbury, 516-333-2332, ristorantevenere.com
THE BRASS RAIL Executive chef-owner Kent Monkan serves a clam sauce with plum tomatoes and baby spinach, its haunting smokiness derived from toasted garlic and red pepper flakes. 107 Forest Ave., Locust Valley, 516-723-9103, thebrassraillocustvalley.com
RELISH At this casual farm-to-table eatery, chef Stephen Cardello uses spicy house-made sausage, basil and tomatoes to elevate his linguine with clam sauce beyond the everyday. 2 Pulaski Rd., Kings Park, 631-292-2740, relishkingspark.com