CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Clams casino is a clam “on the halfshell” dish that originated in Rhode Island. Personal Chef Bill Collins from ChefBill.com, showed us how to make this delicious seafood dish.
18 medium (2 1/2-inch) littleneck (or other) clams, scrubbed clean
2 ounces pancetta or bacon
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup finely diced red pepper
2 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lots of kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 450º
In a large pot over a high heat, place the clams in one cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook the clams just until they start to open, 4-6 minutes. Remove from the pot and discard any clams that do not open.
In a skillet over a medium heat, add the pancetta and sauté until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan, and finely chop when cooled.
In the pan with the bacon fat, add butter and melt it. Add the red pepper, shallots, garlic, and oregano and sauté 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 chopped pancetta and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese into the vegetable mixture. Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with foil. Remove the top shell from the clams, and carefully separate the clam from the bottom shell, with a clam or paring knife. Arrange the clams on the baking sheet.
Spoon the vegetable mixture atop the clams, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
Bake until the clams are just cooked through and the topping is golden, about 10 minutes.
NOTE: If the clams won’t sit steadily on sheet pan for baking in the oven, spread a thick layer of kosher salt in the pan to stabilize the clams while cooking.