Perfect Baked Stuffed Clams

baked clams

Typically when we’re at an Italian restaurant and there’s baked clams on the menu we order them. Baked clams are the perfect starter to a nice Italian meal.

clams

Have you ever wanted to make them at home? They’re very easy to make and personally I like them much better home made. They’re a lovely appetizer for a special meal. I recently made a full tray of baked stuffed clams for Christmas Eve, and not one of them were left, they really go fast, in fact I could have made more but then no one would have eaten anything else! New Years Eve is almost here, so grab a bottle of wine and start your party off with a tray of delicious baked stuffed clams.

So much flavor packed into one bite, the stuffed clams are tender and sweet, the breading crispy, cheesy, zesty, garlicky, I could go on and on, but let me show you how easy it is to make them.

clams soaking

First of all whenever you buy clams and they say they’re cleaned just ignore that, you’re going to find sand in there and they will be gritty if not soaked and drained a few times.

I had five pounds of fresh clams that I picked up at Costco. I let them soak in cold water for around twenty minutes in a strainer with a bowl underneath so I can see any sand that comes out when I drain them. It usually takes three times of soaking and draining.

Then give each one a gentle scrub and discard the broken shells with exposed clam, I had three, trust me you’ll always have some to discard, so count for a few bad ones when buying them.

steamed clams

Next you’ll want to poach or steam your impeccably cleaned clams in a liquid of water, white wine, some garlic cloves and a bay leaf, letting them simmer in a covered lid on the pot scooping them out as they open, one by one. If doing a large amount don’t overcrowd them do half at a time or get another pot going.

Place the steamed opened clams into a bowl so they can cool down. The best thing about this method is that you don’t have to do any shucking to the raw clams, this makes the whole process so easy! Once they cool down just wiggle off the top of the shell so you have an open half shell, how easy is that!

cleaned clams

Some clams have that little rubbery black thing attached that you see above, it’s part of the neck, just snip it off with a pair of scissors, it takes a second.

prepped clams

For five pounds of clams I ended up with forty five clams on the half shell. A few were broken and a few never opened up when they were steamed, those have to be discarded as well if that happens.

Place you half shells on a foil lined sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. At this point if you were making them for a crowd you could prep this all the day up to this point and then refrigerate and proceed with the stuffing the next day.

You can stuff the clams before your guests arrive so you’re ready to place them into the oven when everyone is ready to enjoy, you want to eat them hot.

clam filling

The stuffing recipe will be below, I recommend making your own breadcrumbs if possible, but if not buy some good quality ones that are plain because you’ll be flavoring them up yourself.

stuffed clams

Each clam gets about a heaping teaspoon of stuffing.

stuffed clams

Then a quick drizzle of olive oil over top of each stuffed clam and into the oven they go to bake!

 

baked clams

A light crispy bite with a ton of flavor that enhances the tender clam below!

baked clams

Serve it with a little hot sauce and lemon slices on the side, I promise, you’re going to love these!

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Perfect Baked Stuffed Clams
 
Refer to step by step on blogpost
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5 lbs. fresh, little neck clams could yield 4 dozen depending on size and discards, cleaned, scrubbed and sand removed as outlined in blogpost
  • POACHING LIQUID
  • water, 1 cup white wine, a few whole garlic cloves, a bay leaf and a small bunch of parsley, just enough to cover the clams.
  • FILLING
  • 2 cups homemade or good quality bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons each of unsalted butter and olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves grated on a microplane
  • a handful of chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon for garnish
  • hot sauce optional
Instructions
  1. Clean clams according to step by step on blog post
  2. Steam clams as stated in step by step on post.
  3. Prepare the half shells as pictured in post for a visual.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter and olive oil together.
  5. Stir in grated garlic and simmer until it's infused but not golden or dark.
  6. In a bowl add the breadcrumbs, zest, parsley, salt and pepper, mix together then pour in the melted oil/butter with garlic mixture and stir together until it looks like wet sand, if too dry add more melted butter and olive oil.
  7. Fill each half shell with a heaping teaspoon of the stuffing mixture and place them onto a foil lined sheet pan.
  8. Drizzle the tops with olive oil and place into a pre-heated 450 degree oven for around 8 minutes.
  9. They should be medium golden brown when finished, also nice and crispy.
  10. Serve immediately with lemon slices and hot sauce on the side.

 

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Clams With Spicy Sausage in Garlicky Tomato Broth

spicy clams

Get your napkins ready, because there’s nothing like a big pot of clams with spicy Italian sausage floating in a garlicky tomato broth! Other than some crusty bread for dunking, that’s all you’ll be needing with this.sausage and clams

Let’s talk clams, Littleneck clams are best for this recipe, fresh of course. Make sure you clean them really good, trust me, tasting sand is something you do not want!

I like to scrub the clams really good with a stiff brush removing any out side sand, then soak them in a bowl of cold water with some cornmeal sprinkled in for twenty minutes, the cornmeal helps to draw out any of the sand that might be inside the shells, then fill the bowl with water and rinse again, filling with cold water and rinsing a couple more times.

If you see any shells that are open test them by tapping them against another clam, hopefully they will close, if not just discard. Likewise you’ll want to discard If any of the shells are cracked and chipped.

You can pretty much count on some not opening so allow for that when your buying them so you’ll want to add a few extra.

sausage and clams

I like using thinly shaved garlic in this recipe, the garlic pieces seem to land right into the shells and it’s so delicious! Spicy Italian sausage is key, it flavors the dish so well, but if you need something less spicy go with mild and just add a little red pepper flakes, you need a little kick!

sausage and clamsclams and spicy sausage

You could add pasta with this if you like but I think you’ll be throughly content with some warm crusty bread for dunking!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Clams With Spicy Sausage in Garlicky Tomato Broth
 
This recipe will happily feed two, so feel free to adjust amounts accordingly.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 dozen Littleneck clams
  • ¾ lb of spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 14 oz. can of cherry tomatoes or baby roma tomatoes ( I used Mutti brand)
  • ½ bottle of clam juice about 4 oz. is needed
  • 5 large garlic cloves, shaved or thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • a good splash of white wine
  • a bunch of parsley
  • a knob of butter
  • olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot or skillet with high sides, drizzle in some olive oil and cook the sausage on medium high heat, making sure to break it up into smaller pieces and cook until you see no more pink then remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In same skillet drizzle a little more olive oil into the pan then add in the garlic and onions and saute until soft but not caramelized.
  3. Add the clams tossing them a few times into the garlic and onions.
  4. Add the white wine to deglaze and let it cook down a couple of minutes, tossing the clams.
  5. Add in the tomatoes and all the sausage back in stirring until well distributed, then stick a cover on the pan so the clams can steam in the liquid and open up gently.
  6. When clams have all opened up, stir in a knob of butter and chopped parsley for garnish, maybe a quick drizzle of olive oil too.
  7. If a clam didn't open and the rest did, just discard it.
  8. Don't forget the crusty bread, I like to slice a rustic loaf and drizzle with olive oil and stick under the broiler to get it crunchy, but keep checking it could burn easily!

 

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