Clean and scrub the clams, discarding any open ones. In a large stockpot, heat the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and thyme sprigs and sauté just until fragrant.
Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the clams. Cover the pot and steam the clams until they open, about 5 to 8 minutes. Occasionally shake the pan to help them cook. Discard the stubborn (aka unopened) ones.
Turn down the heat to medium-low and remove the lid. Pour the wine over the clams and cook for 1 minute, until the flavors combine. Using a slotted spoon, remove the clams to a side dish and cover them to keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook the linguine as directed on the box in a large stockpot or pasta pot of boiling salted water. When the pasta is al dente, strain it and rinse it with cold water. Toss the pasta gently in the sauce.
Using tongs, divide the pasta between 2 individual dinner plates. Arrange the clams around each plate. Top with arugula to finish. Serve with a little additional fresh parsley, chili flakes, or even Tabasco, if desired.