What is happening!?!? This post is very belated. I made this appetizer to bring to my Clams Casino-loving friends’ house for the Fourth of July this summer… Well, I think I know what is happening! I am super behind on my blog posts, that is what is happening. I’m happy to report that Littleneck Clams are still readily available! 🙂
I have made Clams Casino only one other time in the past. (to see the post click here) This new version has several modifications from the first. It omits the breadcrumbs (a selling point for me), keeps the clams whole, and includes pancetta instead of bacon. This recipe was adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via Foodnetwork.com. I cleaned and cooked the clams as I had done in my previous dish. I also adjusted the amount of most of the ingredients and added strained clam juice to the filling. It’s a great appetizer for a crowd!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces sliced pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- rounded 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, divided
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 30 medium (2 1/2-inch) littleneck clams
- lemon wedges for garnish, if desired
Note: The clams can be stored for a day in a bowl in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
- Begin by cleaning the clams. Rinse them thoroughly. Put them in a large bowl with very cold water, and stick the bowl in the refrigerator. This will give the clams the chance to spit out any sand or grit that may have gotten inside. After about 30 minutes (or up to an hour), drain the bowl of water, and refill with fresh cold water. Refrigerate. After the second soaking, scrub them with a kitchen brush.
- Cook the clams: Preheat the broiler to high (I set it to Broiler-Max, 500 degrees). Place the clams on a large, heavy baking sheet in a single layer. Place under the broiler, and broil for about 3 to 5, or until the clams have opened completely.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reserve the clam juice that has dripped into the pan. Strain the clam juice in a coffee filter to remove any bits of shell or grit. (I used 2-3 tablespoons of this strained clam juice in the filling.)
- Remove the clam from inside the shell with a spoon. Set aside.
- Gently twist the clam shell at the hinged side to separate the halves. Clean any remnants of clam from the shell with a knife. Reserve bottom shells.
- Make the Filling: Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate.
- Add the bell pepper, shallots, garlic, and oregano to the same skillet and saute until the shallots are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and cool completely. Stir the reserved pancetta, 2 or 3 tablespoons of the strained clam juice, and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese into the vegetable mixture. Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Line a heavy large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Arrange the clams in the reserved shells on the baking sheet. Spoon the vegetable mixture atop the clams, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of Parmesan.
- Bake until the clams are just cooked through and the topping is golden, about 10 minutes.
- Arrange the clams on the platter. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
One Year Ago:
Two Years Ago: