A Sure Bet- Clams Casino!

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

Here’s the ultimate classic appetizer served in some form in almost every Italian restaurant on the East Coast- Clams Casino!

Littleneck Clams

Littleneck Clams

There’s been lots of disagreement about the origin of this dish but the most famous story brings us to the Narragansett Pier Casino in Rhode Island. The year is 1917. The Maître D of the casino’s restaurant, Julius Keller, was asked to prepare something extra special for wealthy socialite Paran Stevens and her party. His creation was a baked clam dish that included bacon, breadcrumbs, garlic, shallots, peppers and parsley. Mrs. Stevens was so impressed that she dubbed the dish “clams casino”.

Whether this story is historically accurate or not, this is one killer appetizer! There are tons of different styles of this dish, but the one thing they all have in common is bacon. I’ve used pancetta in the past and it was delicious but I think I prefer thin sliced applewood bacon the best. Most recipes include breadcrumbs too but our recipe keeps it simple with smaller amounts of great fresh ingredients. Plump fresh littlenecks, Mas Portell piquillo pimientos, fresh thin sliced applewood bacon and reggiano Parmesan cheese. The clam is the star, perfectly complimented by the salty, smoky, spicy, garlicky and cheesy decadence. Enjoy!

And here are some other clam recipes from our archives;

Mikes’ Stuffed Clams

Steamed Clams- Spanish Style

Clams Cataplana

Pasta Alle Vongole- Spaghetti with Clams

Red Clam Sauce Over Spaghetti

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