Mike Monahan’s Secret Stuffed Clams
This is an easy, favorite appetizer anytime of year!
8 cherrystone clams
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 stalk finely chopped celery
2 T onion
4 T parsley (finely chopped)
2 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 of a large roasted red pepper (finely chopped)
2 t jalapeño (finely chopped)
3 T grated Reggiano Parmesan
1 1/2 C (or so) bread crumbs
4 oz. pancetta or linguica or chorizo (finely chopped or pulsed in a food processor)
Steam clams in 1/4–1/2 inch of water until they just begin to open. Remove meats and save the shells. Finely chop the clam meats and set aside.
Sauté pancetta, celery, garlic, onion and jalapeño until pancetta is cooked and the vegetables are softened. Combine in mixing bowl with roasted red pepper, herbs, chopped clams, parmesan, lemon, egg and mix in the bread crumbs until the mix holds together in a ball in your hand. Stuff the 8 shells and top with a little paprika.
Bake at 375° for about 10–12 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve immediately.