White Clam Sauce Pizza with Chili Oil.
Let me tell you allll about this pizza.
Because I am still 100% convinced that it is the best thing I will consume all summer.
I’m ready! White clam sauce pizza every week. That’s the plan.
Back when we were making plans for our quick trip to NYC for the MacKenzie-Childs meetup, my friend Natalie mentioned that she really wanted to go to Franny’s on Friday night because of their white clam pizza. Even though I was in the major sickness stage of pregnancy, it sounded SO freaking good to me. Like she and I were both absolutely set on going there for the clam pizza, even though it was going to be a bit of a trek to Brooklyn during rush hour.
Um, a trek it was, and we still can’t really talk details because our husbands aren’t even remotely over it. BUT. We made it for the pizza and it was so, so good. The moment we both took a bite, I was like WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS AT HOME!
So make this at home we did.
There are a few different versions I’ve found on the internet but what I found so interesting is that the “sauce” is more of a simmered and thickened cream sauce – without cheese! The flavor was so rich and wonderful that I never would have guessed.
I’ve tested a few options out but this one for sure is my fave and it is PACKED with flavor. Like I cannot even stand it.
Of course, I had to go and trash my version up and just add a TINY bit of cheese.
I didn’t add much to the cream sauce because that was so delicious on its own, but I did scatter some around the dough before baking. I also didn’t put whole clams on top of the pizza, but only because I knew that Max might not eat it then (he loooooves pizza) and that many others might be a wee bit turned off by it. I freaking LOVE clams (and all related seafood) so it wasn’t a problem for me, but they sure as heck aren’t very photogenic when out of their shell.
Funnily enough, this isn’t the first clam pizza that I have on my blog! Weird, right? Random, no?
Years ago, I made a clams casino pizza (p.s. also the recipe that gave me the inspo for the appetizer in elin’s book!) that was so, so, so good. In the summer, I always get the pics of you guys making it which is amazing. It remains a super popular summer hit here, and even though it may be a bit polarizing, it’s FAB! There is a ton of flavor on there and the bacon, red peppers and cheese make it phenomenal.
Almost made me want to add bacon to this baby right here.
But alas… I did not. I kept it fairly simple and went with the classic recipe (mostly!) and am just in such disbelief of how wonderful this thing is. GUYS. This tastes like being at the beach. In an amazing way. It’s so fantastic and I am not kidding that it is theee new recipe of the summer. I promise!
- 1 1/8 cups warm water
- 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 sweet onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 1/4 cups dry white wine like chardonnay
- 5 pounds fresh littleneck clams scrubbed well
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 cup freshly grated provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 1/2 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas – this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza pan. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. (If I use my pizza stone, I heat my oven to 475 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. If you’re just using a baking sheet, follow the directions below for baking and set to 425 degrees.)
While the dough is rising, making the topping! Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the oil and butter. Add the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened. Add the wine to the saucepan and bring it to a simmer, then add the clams and cook until they begin to open. Once open, transfer them to a large bowl and pick out the clam meat.
Continue to simmer the wine and onion mixture until the wine is reduced into a thick glaze, around 10 minutes or so. Pour in the cream and simmer it, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced by half, about 10 more minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese. At this point, I chopped my clams so we wouldn’t have huge pieces and toss them into the sauce.
Begin to make your pizza! Cover your dough with half of the grated provolone cheese. Add the clam sauce onto the pizza and spread it all around. Sprinkle on the remaining grated cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (or around 15 to 20 minutes if using the pizza stone) until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with a drizzle of chili oil, extra pepper flake and a big handful of parsley. Some parmesan too. Devour!
The further ahead of time you make this, the better it will be! But you can also make it while the pizza is in the oven. Heat the oil over low heat until just warm. Stir in the pepper flakes and remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature before using.
All that burnt and bubbly cheese is MINE.