Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until
al dente, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large sauté or fry pan, over medium heat, until hot. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Season the soften tomatoes with salt and pepper and add the wine and parsley. Simmer for 10 more minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked down. Add the scrubbed clams and stir well to coat the shells with the tomato sauce. Cover the pan and continue to cook, just until the clams open, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the clam mixture in the sauté pan. Transfer the mixture to a serving plate and serve immediately. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
Venetians prefer to serve clams with Bigoli. This pasta, specific to this region of Italy, is made from whole wheat meal and eggs. It gives the dish a rustic hearty flavor which blends perfectly with the smokiness of the clams. Why not try substituting whole wheat or buckwheat pasta the next time you make this dish.