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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Feeling Clammy

At Hudson Valley this past August, our some of our friends on another team have some New England connections and as a result, they had a lobster and clam boil at their site that I was lucky enough to sample.  I love lobster, there is no doubting that.  But it is pricey and I usually only buy one a year when it is on sale at the local grocery store for $9.99 a pound.  My second seafood addiction is fresh littleneck clams.  They are more affordable in these parts, usually running $0.49 a piece or less.  In some ways, I think a perfectly steamed clam is better than lobster.  The day after I had partaken in the clamfest, were were preparing for our pizza turn in that day and an idea popped into my head: White Clam Pizza.  A plan was coming together.  Here is the result.

My mother makes this simple white clam sauce that is quick and easy.  I have tweaked the recipe over the years to fit our tastes.  This would be the base for our pizza.

White Clam Sauce and now White Clam Pizza Base

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white table wine (not too sweet and not too dry)
1, 6.5 oz can of minced clams, juice included
1/3 of a sweet onion, diced medium
2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
1 tsp of dried parsley plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1/4 tsp of dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste (you could also use red pepper flakes for some heat if desired)

Add the olive oil to a deep sauté pan on medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until it begins to become soft and translucent.  Next, add the parsley and garlic and sauté until the garlic starts to brown and become fragrant.  At this point, add the wine and the can of undrained clams to the mixture and reduce your heat to low.  Let the mixture cook until the volume is reduced by one half.  There you have it, your white clam pizza base.

At this point, you can choose to stop and toss this sauce with hot cooked pasta and top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  This is my recipe for Pasta with White Clam Sauce.  But, I had pizza in mind.  On to that step.

Hope whipped up a batch of homemade dough:

Pizza Dough

3 1/4 cups AP flour
1 tbsp yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm water

Put it all in a bread machine, yeast on the bottom, and let it sit through one raise cycle on the white bread setting.  Then pull out of the bread maker, place in a bowl, and cover with a clean towel for 15 minutes.

When handling the dough, spray your hands with cooking spray.  You'll thank me later...

While Hope was working on the dough, I took a second can of clams and drained the juice.  Then, I built the pizza.

On a stretched out pizza skin, I evenly distributed the white clam sauce.

Then, I topped with shredded mozzarella cheese, the can of drained clams, and a sprinkling of dried parsley.

I placed into the oven at 450 F for 20 minutes, or until the crust was brown and the cheese was brown and bubbly.  Once cooled I sliced and served with Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper for topping.

Crispy crust, browned cheese, lots of clams.  Yep, this pizza satisfied my pizza and clam addiction for  for at least a few weeks.  I was happy with how this turned out.  If you wish, you could add to or substitute shrimp into this recipe if clams are not your thing.  Either way, you will not be disappointed.

Thanks for stopping by,


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