According to Linda Beaulieu, author of The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, Clams Casino originated with “Julius Keller, maitre d’ in the original casino next to the seaside Towers in Narragansett.” As with many classic dishes, there are numerous versions. This one uses quahogs, but you could use cherrystones if you prefer, doubling the number.
- Servings Serves 6 as a first course
- 2 slices bacon
- 6 quahogs
- 15 ml* (1 tablespoon) butter
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil
- 177 ml (¾ cup) finely chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 118 ml (½ cup) finely chopped green peppers
- 237 ml (1 cup) Italian-style dried bread crumbs
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) chopped fresh oregano
- 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) red pepper flakes
- 118 ml (½ cup) grated Parmesan cheese
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Lemon wedges, for serving
*Metric conversions by The Cook’s Cook
1. Preheat the oven to 232°C (450˚F).
2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, draining it on paper towels. Crumble into small pieces and reserve.
3. Wash the clams. Place them in a baking dish with 118 ml (½ cup) water. Bake until the clams open — about 15 minutes, depending on size. Discard any that do not open. When they are cool enough to handle, separate the shells and remove the meat, reserving the shells. Chop the clam meat coarsely and set aside. Reduce the oven heat to 204°C (400˚F).
4. Add the butter and 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of the oil to the skillet, and sauté the onion, garlic, and peppers until soft.
5. Add the bread crumbs, reserved bacon, oregano, red pepper flakes, cheese, sautéed vegetables, and chopped clams. Mix well. Fill the clamshells with this mixture and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the parsley and drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake at 204°C (400˚F) until browned; about 5 minutes.