Add the clams to the skillet, along with the peperoncino and oregano. Ladle in about 2 cups pasta water. Bring to a simmer and cover until clams open, about 5 to 7 minutes. As the clams open, remove to a bowl. Meanwhile, add linguine to pasta water. When all the clams are out, increase heat to high and add 1/2 cup of the parsley. Cook until reduce by half. Meanwhile, shuck the clams.
When the linguine is al dente and the sauce is reduced, add the pasta directly to the sauce and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook and toss until the pasta is coated with the sauce. Add shucked clams and remaining 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, Cook a minute more to blend the flavors and serve.
Linguini with red clam sauce is almost never found in Italy, but a big seller in Italian American restaurants here in the United States. So when you go to Italy, eat it as they do with white clam sauce and never ever ask for cheese to put on your linguini clam sauce.
From Lidia's Italy in America by Lidia Bastianich (Knopf 2011). All rights reserved. Used with permission of the publisher.
Chef Maria Elia, author of Smashing Plates, says Greece is known for its wealth of cheeses and honeys. Feta and honey are "two simple ingredients that just give so much," she says.