RECIPE

Clams Casino Bread Pizza

Rach combines two All-American favorites in this bread pizza.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 flat anchovy fillets
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (a couple small handfuls), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Black pepper

For the clam topping:

  • 8 slices good-quality bacon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 Fresno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 cans whole baby clams, drained and chopped (10 ounces each can), reserve 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or 1/3 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon, juiced plus 4 small wedges
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese or mild provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread (14-16 inches long), halved lengthwise then across, creating 4 bread pizza crusts

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.


For the breadcrumb topping, heat about 2 tablespoons EVOO in a small pan. Melt the butter and add the anchovies, melting them into the EVOO and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and turn down the heat to medium-low. Stir for 1 minute, then add the breadcrumbs and stir until deeply golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Combine with the parsley and cheese and season with black pepper.


For the clams, arrange the bacon on a slotted baking sheet and bake to crisp, 15-18 minutes. Cool and chop. Raise the oven temperature to 425ºF.


Heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallot and thyme and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the clams; season with a little salt and pepper and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine or vermouth and stir for a minute more. Add the clam juice and bring to a bubble; stir in the butter to melt, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.


Arrange the bread pizza bottoms on two rimmed baking sheets. Top the pizzas with the clams and sauce, scatter with cheese and bake to golden, 12-15 minutes. Top with the breadcrumbs and chopped bacon and serve immediately with wedges of lemon alongside.

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