Remove any clams that are broken, or which do not close immediately if tapped. Soak the clams in cold water for several hours in order to loosen any internal sand.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the garlic in the olive oil until golden. Add the clams and cover the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells open – discard unopened clams. Remove the clams from the skillet with a wire-mesh strainer or slotted spoon. Remove most of them from their shells – saving a few in their shells. Place all shelled clams back into the skillet with the remaining liquid.
Cook the linguine until al dente. Drain, and add the pasta to the clam sauce. Add the clams in their shells as well. Cook for 2 minutes. Toss with the parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately. If desired, sprinkle with a little crushed red pepper for a kick.