Flush the sand out of clams by soaking them in salt water (at about 3%) for at least 30 minutes. Julienne the ginger.
Boil water in a large pot and add a good amount of salt (not listed). Cook the pasta. I recommend checking the doneness one minute earlier than the package directions.
Melt 10 g of butter in a pan and sauté the ginger from step 1 over low heat. This will bring out the fragrance of the ginger.
Once you add the well washed clams to the pan, turn the heat to high. Pour sake and cover immediately. (It is best to cook shellfish over high heat.)
Once the clams are open, turn off the heat and set the pan aside. (Clams will harden if overcooked.)
Add the pasta, along with a ladle-full of pasta cooking water, a few drops of soy sauce, and the remaining butter. Mix quickly. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.
Serve with your favorite toppings like green onions, parsley, shiso (perilla leaves), or nori seaweed.
Story Behind this Recipe
This vongole was what I ate at a restaurant with a friend who promised me "an amazingly delicious pasta dish." It was so tasty because they used ginger instead of garlic. I tried to recreate the dish so many times and have failed, but it is getting close, so I wanted to share.
There is no need to season with a lot of salt and pepper because of the saltiness from the clams (I hardly use any). If you generally take a long time to cook a dish, you can cook all the way to Step 5 before boiling the pasta. If the ginger you are using is newly harvested, use more (about 20 g) and top the dish with thin strips.