This week I couldn’t stop thinking about baked clams.
I’ve been dreaming of a baked clam in amatriciana sauce, the classic Roman preparation with guanciale, tomato, Pecorino, and a little chile. (In regions of America where guanciale is hard to find, pancetta is often used as a substitute.)
So I started testing, and in tasting through different versions of my “baked clams amatriciana,” I decided that whole littleneck clams can be chewy and hard to eat. The solution? Steam open the clams, remove the meat from the shells, and dice it. Mix this with the sauce, add it all back into the shell, and bake until bubbling and fragrant.
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And almost every step of this recipe can be done ahead of time. As guests arrive, just fill the empty clam shells with the refrigerated clam mixture, top them with chopped parsley and finely grated Pecorino, and throw them in the oven.
You’ll only need 1/4 cup of amatriciana sauce to dress a dozen baked clams, though—and it’s not practical to make only 1/4 cup of sauce. So make these baked clams, then keep the leftover sauce on hand to add to quick pasta dinners, pots of beans, and toast all week long.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I'm perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer's market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta.