Sunday, February 28, 2010

snapshot: spicy clam and garlic pizza

clam pizza, squared
the first time i had
clam pizza, i was in high school
and for a reason
that escapes me,
i went with my family to lunch
(on a weekday, i think...
i know that i was wearing shorts,
so it must have been summer. and,
i also remember that a few minutes
after we returned home,
my (older!) (ok, 1 1/2 years older)
ex-boyfriend from summer camp
(who was already an ex-boyfriend
and lived an hour away),
pulled up unexpectedly in his car (his car!)
and i could not decide if i wanted
to run away or skip in his direction.
and, i remember wishing that
i didn't just eat clam pizza).

the circumstances
are somewhat foggy
but that pizza is not:
a bit doughy, but still crisp
on the bottom and the edges,
it was clam-heavy,
slightly spicy and full of garlic.
it was so good, that i can taste
it right now.

the restaurant is long gone,
but thankfully, several years
ago, when i wasn't thinking
about the pizza, i came across a recipe
on epicurious* and knew that i had to
make it. clam pizza is in the rotation,
which in this house means that i make
it about once a year, and never regret it.

and, like all my favorites, at this point,
i don't measure a thing. instead,
using floured hands, i stretch out out dough
(my favorite recipe**, or if i'm in a pinch,
prepared fresh dough), to fit as squarely
as possible in a rectangular rimmed baking
sheet that i've coated with cooking spray
or a mist of olive oil.

once the flat dough
has been covered with a towel
and given a 20-minute rest,
i sprinkle it with
6 large cloves chopped garlic,
and press lightly to adhere.
next, i top with
2 cans chopped clams, drained well,
a handful or two of grated parm,
a healthy sprinkling of red pepper flakes
and a couple drizzles of olive oil.
sometimes i add oregano.

then, i pop the pan into a 425˚f oven,
for 12-16 minutes,
or until the bottom is golden brown.
i pull out the garlicky pie,
transfer it to a cutting board and
cut into squares.
every time, it reminds me of my
first clam pizza. and summer.
and when i still wore
shorts. but, usually, not

*original recipe here.
**for this pizza, i leave out the rosemary in the dough.
baked clam pizza

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