Remove the seeds from the red chili and cut with kitchen scissors. Finely chop the garlic. Soak the clams in water to remove any sand, then wash well.
Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than noted on the package.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and chili to allow to infuse the oil. Add butter and stir.
Add the clams and sake. After evaporating the alcohol content, cover with a lid. Cook until the clams open.
After the clams open, transfer to a plate. This prevents them from overcooking and becoming too tough.
Add the water and soy sauce to the remaining cooking liquid. Adjust the taste. Add salt if it is not salty enough. If it is too salty, add water or pasta water. Bring to a boil.
Add the cooked pasta and cook for about 2 minutes. At this point the pasta will absorb the liquid and soften nicely.
Return the clams to the pan and mix well.
Scatter with chopped parsley if you like and serve. Pour the tasty broth on top.
Story Behind this Recipe
Even though it might seem like a bit of work, it's actually pretty easy to prepare!
Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than their packaging instructs. I don't want to cook the clams too long so it is better to take them out at some point, but it may not be necessary. Adjust the taste at Step 6 with salt or pasta water. Saltiness depends on the clams you use. You can use white wine instead of sake, but my husband prefers sake, so I put it in this recipe. I don't use too much butter and soy sauce because I don't want them to stand out.