There was a time I wouldn't dream of using canned clams for anything. It's really not that much harder to cook with fresh, but you have to make sure they're really fresh, and scrubbing them is a drag, not to mention clam shells in the garbage are raccoon bait.
Heat the garlic with a good bit of oil, then add some wine and boil the alcohol off. Add the clams, tomatoes, and cooked pasta. Allow to absorb for a minute or two, then add as much butter as you dare and work it into the sauce. Add some parsley and zest right before serving. This bowl is topped with some garlicky toasted bread crumbs, too. Yum.