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Bring a large pot of salted water to boil (use about one tablespoon of salt per two quarts of water—it should taste as salty as seawater). Add in the spaghetti and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the time listed on the package). Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside, then drain the pasta. Do not rinse.
While the spaghetti cooks, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté until just fragrant and tender, about 3 minutes.
Add in the liquid from the two cans of clams and the wine or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the mixture reduces down and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add in the zest and juice from a lemon, the butter, and the chopped clams. Add in the hot, drained pasta, and toss to combine. Add in the pasta cooking water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, if the mixture feels dry.
Serve topped with fresh minced parsley, Parmesan, and black pepper.