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Clams Oreganato - {Vongole Origanate}


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  • 24 cherrystone or littleneck clams scrubbed
  • 3 cups kosher salt plus more
  • for seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion cut into 1/8" dice
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/8" dice
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs crusts removed
  • and set aside for another use
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano chopped


Servings 4


Step 1

Carefully open the clams and loosen from bottom shell, carefully draining each of the clams’ liquid into a small mixing bowl. Pour kosher salt onto a cookie sheet so that it is at least a half-inch deep, and arrange the clams in their half-shells around the cookie sheet.

In a 10- to 12-inch saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat until smoking and add the onion, garlic, and peppers. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, until softened and light golden brown, then add the bread crumbs and continue cooking another 3 minutes, until they are light golden brown. Remove the mixture from heat, season with salt and pepper and cool.

Stir in the chopped oregano and the reserved clam liquid and pack about 2 teaspoons of the crumb mixture loosely into each clam shell.

Preheat the broiler. Place clams under heat and heat through, without really cooking the clam, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the crumb mixture has turned deep golden brown. Remove from heat, drizzle with a drop of olive oil, and serve.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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