Worth the effort! I'd never shucked clams before and though time-consuming, it wasn't that bad - I even found a video on line that showed how to do it. These were the hit of the party and very unlike most of the spread. Because the clams are so small, I'd recommend the pancetta be sliced at 1/8 inch thickness or less. I used a bit of stuffing mix since we don't keep white bread in the house - it worked fine, and while it is "filler" you definitely need it to hold the ingredients together in the clam.
Clams Casino with Pancetta
For easier shucking, steam clams over simmering water for two minutes or just until their shells barely open. Run a knife or small screwdriver around a shell's edge, and pop it open. If you partially steam the clams, reduce the broiling time by a minute or two. The clams may be unsteady on the jelly-roll pan, so you can line the pan with a bed of rock salt for more stability.
More From Cooking Light
- Calories: 61
- Calories from fat: 43%
- Fat: 2.9g
- Saturated fat: 1.2g
- Monounsaturated fat: 1g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
- Protein: 5.3g
- Carbohydrate: 3.2g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Cholesterol: 15mg
- Iron: 3.9mg
- Sodium: 163mg
- Calcium: 25mg
- Cooking spray
- 3/4 cup finely diced pancetta
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (1 1/2-ounce) slice day-old country white bread
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 36 littleneck clams, cleaned
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pancetta to pan; cook 6 minutes or until pancetta begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook until liquid evaporates (about 30 seconds), scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add bell pepper, shallots, and garlic to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Place pancetta mixture in a medium bowl.
- Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure about 3/4 cup. Add breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, and black pepper to pancetta mixture; stir until blended.
- Preheat broiler.
- Discard any clams with broken or open shells. Shuck clams; discard top halves of shells. Top each clam with about 1 rounded teaspoon pancetta mixture. Broil 4 minutes; turn pan. Broil an additional 3 minutes or until tops are browned and clams are done. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
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