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Best Spaghetti

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“It’s soy sauce,” chef and owner Mike Price divulged as he spilled the secrets of the terrific spaghetti and clams he dishes up at his West Village restaurant, The Clam. The soy sauce, he went on to explain, adds a bit of umami you don’t often get in more classic renditions of the gravy, balancing the tangy notes of the tomato, the breath of heat imbued by spices, and the sweet undertones of the mollusk. That sauce is ladled onto chewy noodles and topped with plump in-shell clams and a verdant vinaigrette-stung salad, which lends a palate-cleansing edge to the end of each bite. Simple and soulful, it’s a comforting dish you’d like to cook for yourself on a regular basis — if only you could do it like Price.

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