Well…maybe not your typical Clams Casino recipe…I made a deconstructed version…and it was phenomenal…right down to the crunchy breadcrumb topping! When you are down to the very last clam, you will be wanting more and more. I served this as an appetizer for two people (4 dozen littleneck clams). Honestly…I could have cooked up some pasta and made an entire meal! I just may do that next time. You can make at least 6 to 7 dozen clams using the ingredients in this recipe! Local to Charlotte, head on over to The Carolina Meat & Fish Co., and grab your super, fresh clams.
From prep to plate you are looking at about 20 to 25 minutes…your Family will think you are a rockstar chef!
Start rendering your bacon in a deep pan. Fry until crispy. As you bacon is frying, prep the other ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour with enough water to cover the clams.
Place the clams in the bowl and allow to soak. Discard any open clams. The clams will ingest the flour and spit out the flour, along with any grit. Rinse and reserve.
In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and fresh parsley. Melt the butter in the microwave. Pour into bowl with breadcrumbs/parlsey, combine to coat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Heat a non-stick pan to medium. Add in the breadcrumb mixture and brown…be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and reserve.
When the bacon in finished, remove about half and place on paper towel to drain. With the remaining bacon in the pan, carefully remove all but about three tablespoons of the bacon fat. Lower the heat to medium. Add in the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the garlic and shallots to soften a few minutes. You are NOT looking to brown the garlic/shallots.
Pour in the clam juice and white wine. Turn up heat to medium-high…or just under a boil. Add in the fresh parsley and clams. Cover with lid. Allow the clams to steam open…this will take only a few minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.
Remove pan from heat and toss in the diced tomatoes. Transfer clams to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Ladle a bit of the pan sauce onto the clams. Garnish with the reserved bacon and fresh parsley. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb mixture. Serve with a side of lemon wedges. As mentioned earlier, you can serve this deconstructed version of Clams Casino as an appetizer or cook up a bit of linguine and serve as a meal. ENJOY!!!
Check out more of my amazing clam recipes: Clams with Sausage, Clams in Sambucca Cream, Clams Oreganata, Spaghetti with Clams, Clams in a Red Curry Coconut Broth, Manhattan Clam Chowder, and New England Clam Chowder.