In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute, or until tender.
Pour in the white wine. Boil until wine has reduced to half its original volume.
Add clams, cover, and steam till clams start to open.
Add butter, cover, and cook till most or all of the clams open. Discard any that do not open.
Transfer clams and juice to 2 large bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and ham. Serves 4-5
Genuine Smithfield ham is a type of country ham produced in the town of Smithfield, Va., and is smoked, dry-salt cured, and aged for at least six months. Tasso or country ham can be substituted. Chef Joe Elliott from The Westin Providence, in Providence, R.I., prepared this recipe for the Romancing the Clam live cooking event in 2009 in Savannah, Ga. Chef Elliott is native to the Northern Neck region of Virginia’s Western shore.