March 11, 2019

White Clam Pizza

White Clam Pizza

White Clam Pizza, seafood pizza, recipe, clam, pizza
By Published: 2019-03-11
For all of you pizza and seafood lovers, I'm super excited to share this!  I've been binging on food shows again (my favorite lazing about thing to do), this time enjoying 'Ugly Delicious' and they had this segment about this little ol' pizza joint in New Haven called Frank Pepe where they serve white clam pizza.  OMGosh...Clam pizza!  And it's sooo delicious that it's famous! 

To be totally honest I was really surprised to see that Americans were loving themselves something so wildly seafood-y, if you know what I mean.  Hmmm..actually, I'm not even sure what that means.  Anyways, I was so intrigued with the idea, I mean fresh clams, pizza, what could go wrong?   

We love, love, love fresh seafood and make homemade pizza every week so of course we had to try it.  And it was AMAZING!  This White Clam Pizza is simply made: freshly shucked clams, a bit of garlic and cheese and a swirl of olive oil combine to make this pizza a marvel of crispy golden cheese infused with the absolutely delicious briny sea sweetness of clam juice.  This white clam pizza is to die for!

White Clam Pizza, seafood pizza, recipe, clam, pizza

We've tried both fresh clams and frozen clams for this pizza and while frozen will do the job, fresh is sooo much better so we would recommend looking for the fresh clams. It's that fresh sea sweet clam juice that really makes this pizza special. 

 You can use any kind of clams as long as they're not too big, as the big ones are less tender.  The recommended size is usually known as little neck clams and a bit larger than an inch around.  

Okay, stupid confession time: the first time we tried to make this clam pizza we were using fresh clams and I spent a good amount of time trying to pry these suckers open but these babies were clamped tight as a vise and I nearly chopped my fingers off.  Silly me, the way to do it easily is to steam the clams for a minute or so until they just open up.  Then it's an easy job to get the clam meat out!
White Clam Pizza, seafood pizza, recipe, clam, pizza

This kind of pizza is called a white pizza because is does not use tomato sauce, only using cheese resulting in a minimalist zen look.  Which is so cool.  Freshly shucked raw clams top the pizza along with a very generous sprinkling of cheese.  The original pepe pizza used pecorino cheese but I couldn'g get my hands on any so we just used parmesan, lots of it.

White Clam Pizza, seafood pizza, recipe, clam, pizza

Garlic is minced and sprinkled over as the perfect complement and flavor booster for the clam and cheese.  A swirl of virgin olive oil to aid the clams in cooking tenderly and to give a bit of aromatic gloss.  We tossed in a bit of zucchini and mushroom but if you're sticking to the authentic version you don't need anything beyond the clams, garlic and cheese.


If you love seafood you'll go bonkers over this pizza!  So good!  And simple too, not too many ingredients to chop and prepare.  But so very very good.  I can't say that enough.  We LOVE this pizza.  It's gone straight to forever favorite pizza in our house.  So scout yourself out some fresh clams and give this simple to make yet supremely delicious clam pizza a go.  We think that you will love it too!

White Clam Pizza, seafood pizza, recipe, clam, pizza

White Clam Pizza Recipe
(makes 4 nos. 8" pizzas) Prep time: Cooking time:

Ingredients 

1 portion New York Style Pizza dough (click for recipe)
36 little neck clams
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
Make the dough either the night before and let it rise in fridge overnight or the day of and let rise at least 4-5 hours in the fridge.   Rising for longer at cooler temperatures makes the dough more tasty.

Preheat the oven to 450°F or the hottest setting your oven can go.  Place pizza stone on the rack before heating the oven.

 Take dough out from fridge and cut into 4 equal portions.  Take one portion, covering the rest with a towel.  Tear off a piece of parchment paper* 10" by 10", place onto working surface and sprinkle with flour.  Plump the dough into a round shape, then use a rolling pin and your hands to press and stretch the dough out to an 8" circle, leaving a 1/2" edge slightly thicker.  When the dough is stubborn and refusing to stay stretched dust with a bit of flour over and try again.  Don't worry if it's not a perfect circle, asymmetrical pizzas look lovely and handmade.

Add 1/4" of water and clams to a pot and heat for a minute or two or until you see that the clams have just opened up.  Remove from  heat immediately.  Use a paring knife to scrape the clams from the shells, letting the juice of the clam run off back into the pot.  (Reserve this clam juice and drink it as a treat...yum...)  

Dot the dough with 1/4 portion of the clams, then cheese, oregano, black pepper and garlic.  Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over.  Use pizza peel* to place pizza, including parchment paper, onto the pizza stone and bake for 12-15 mins or until the top and bottom are golden brown.  Remove and let rest for a couple of minutes before cutting into slices.  Serve hot and enjoy the best seafood pizza ever!

*Tip: I like to make the pizza on parchment paper and then put the whole thing, paper and all, into the oven to bake.  It makes pizza making so much easier!

*Tip:  If you don't have a pizza peel just use a chopping board as a substitute like we do.  Just make sure beforehand that it's big enough to slide your pizza onto.



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