Clams Casino Bread Pizza

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 3:00 AM, February 9, 2012

Aired February 9, 2012

Serves 4
For the Breadcrumbs:
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 flat anchovy filets
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, a couple small handfuls, finely chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Black pepper
For the Clam Topping:
8 slices good quality bacon
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fresno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 10-ounce cans whole baby clams, drained and chopped, reserve 1/2 cup clam juice
1/2 cup dry white wine or 1/3 cup dry vermouth
2 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, 1 tablespoon juice plus 4 small wedges
1 pound fresh mozzarella or mild provolone, shredded
1 14- to 16-inch loaf ciabatta bread, halved lengthwise then across, creating 4 bread pizza crusts

Preheat oven to 375F.

For breadcrumb topping, heat oil in a small pan, about 2 tablespoons. Melt butter and add anchovies. Melt anchovies into oil and butter over medium heat; add garlic and turn down heat to medium low. Stir 1 minute then add breadcrumbs and stir until deeply golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Combine with parsley, cheese and season with black pepper.

For the clams, arrange bacon on a slotted baking sheet and bake to crisp, 15-18 minutes. Cool and chop. Raise oven temp to 425F.

Heat EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots and thyme, and stir 2-3 minutes. Add clams, season with a little salt and pepper, stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine or vermouth and stir a minute more. Add clam juice and bring to a bubble; stir in butter to melt, remove from heat and add lemon juice.

Arrange bread pizza bottoms on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Top pizzas with clams and sauce, scatter with cheese and bake to golden, 12-15 minutes. Top with breadcrumbs and chopped bacon, and serve immediately with wedges of lemon alongside.