Clam Pizza is said to have originated in New Haven, Connecticut at Frank Pepe Apizza. I honestly have no idea if this version is at all similar to that one, all I know is that the day the Larsen family chose to top a pizza with freshly shucked littleneck clams, crispy bacon, caramelized onions and a boatload of garlic is the day an instant classic was born.
Makes 1 pizza, serves 3-4
1 store bought pizza dough
12 littleneck clams
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
6 oz bacon, sliced into 1/4 thick lardons
3 oz provolone cheese, shredded
1 oz percorino ramano cheese, finely grated
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Red pepper flakes, to taste
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Flour, semolina, or fine cornmeal for dusting the peel
Place your pizza stone on the oven's second highest rack and preheat to 500 degrees.
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until nearly crisp, but still pliable (bacon will fully crisp in the oven). Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the onion to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low and cook until golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
While the onions caramelize, combine olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic in a small pan and heat over medium heat until the garlic becomes fragrant and begins to sizzle (do not brown). Remove the mixture from heat and set aside.
Roll the pizza dough out on the pizza peel, dusting liberally with flour, semolina and cornmeal and shaking the peel to ensure the crust does not stick.
Brush the olive oil mixture over the crust, then top with the provolone cheese, the caramalized onions, the littlenecks and the bacon. Sprinkle the pizza lightly with some of the reserved juices from the littlenecks.
Slide the pizza onto the baking stone and bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. Slide off of the baking stone and onto a cooling rack. Sprinkle with the pecorino cheese and parsley. Cut into wedges and serve with lemon wedges at the table.