- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 dozen top neck clams, shucked on the half shell, juice reserved or 1 jar of clam juice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste.
- Optional: 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano, prefereably the Sicilian on the branch, crumbled
- Sauté the garlic in the oil over medium heat in a pan until golden and fragrant. Preheat the oven the 450°f.
- Strain the clam juice through a cheesecloth into a large bowl or use jarred clam juice.
- Empty the contents of the clam juice into a small pot and add white wine, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of parsley, the butter and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Simmer over the stove until bubbling and the butter melts. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, toss the breadcrumbs and panko, the grated cheese, the garlic infused olive oil, the remaining crushed red pepper, and if desired, the oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix until combined thoroughly. Combine half of the wet ingredients in step 2 into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Top each clam with some of the breadcrumb topping avoid packing the clams too tightly. Set the clams on the prepared baking pan and drizzle the clams with olive oil over them. Pour the remaining half of the wet mixture in step 2 into the baking pan.
- Bake until the pan juices are bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Switch oven to broil for 5 minutes until the top breadcrumbs are crispy. Transfer the clams. spoon the sauce from the pan onto the plates. Serve immediately.
A classic Italian restaurant starter, an essential part of any hot antipasto platter and a must have for Christmas Eve, these baked clams are full of flavor, and the crisp golden crust beautifully compliments the briny, succulent meat beneath. Try to get clams on the larger side, and you’ll have plenty of room in the shell for the crispy crumbs.