Growing up in a family where money was tight, my mom made some fantastic meals with simple and thrifty ingredients. This was one my favorites as a child and I asked for it almost every Friday.
I like fresh lemon juice with a smidge of the peel zested into the hot oil, but my mom always had bottled. Those squeezy lemons and limes still fascinate me. Large pieces of garlic are used to infuse the oil with garlicky goodness and are removed after browning. If you want to amp up the garlic factor add some finely minced to the oil right before the clams. Burned garlic is the worst smell and will turn the sauce bitter. Dried parsley (another staple in my mom's pantry) can be used but reduce to 3 tsp. —mcms1974
While pasta is cooking, begin heating oil and galic in a small saucepan. Cook the garlic until nicely browned and then discard garlic. Season the oil with a nice pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
Let the oil cool down slightly or you will have a big, splattery mess. Add the clams and all the juice. If you are impatient like me, put some of the juice in and cover with the lid. When the pot stops sputtering add the rest of the the juice and clams. Bring to a simmer. Just before adding sauce to the pasta, stir in the lemon juice and parsley.