How to Make It
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt, and cook spaghetti according to package directions (setting aside plain pasta tossed with olive oil or butter on the kids' plates if that's the way it has to be).
Meanwhile, heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. (It's not necessary to salt; the clams are naturally briny.)
Add clams, wine, and 1/3 cup herbs. Cover and cook about 6 minutes, or until the clams are partially open. Add the tomatoes and corn, if using, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, uncovered, or until the corn softens and the clams open completely. Discard any clams that haven't opened, then toss the whole thing with the pasta, making sure to scoop lots of the briny clam broth into the bowl. Top with additional 2 tablespoons of herbs, and serve with crusty bread for sopping.
How to Celebrate Anything by Jenny Rosenstrach. Copyright 2016 by Jenny Rosenstrach. Reprinted by arrangement with Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.