You don’t have to be from New Haven to enjoy a white clam pizza, where the pie is said to have been popularized at the beloved Frank Pepe. In this recipe from New York City hot spot Pasquale Jones, crisp dough topped with clam liquor-laced cream, chewy clams and bright broccoli rabe makes for a briny, rich pizza.
Be mindful that this white pie isn’t going to react like a normal tomato pie. While in the oven, the cream will bubble up, but don’t freak out; it’s going to reduce on the pizza into a creamy sauce for the perfect white pie.
To learn more, read “Clam Pizza Is Coming in Hot.”
White Clam Pizza
Recipe adapted from Ryan Hardy, Pasquale Jones, New York, NY
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus soaking time
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, plus soaking time
For the Sautéed Broccoli Rabe:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
⅛ bunch (2 ounces) broccoli rabe
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Clam Topping:
20 littleneck clams
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 parsley stem
1 thyme sprig
¼ cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Pizza:
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Chopped broccoli rabe
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
Sicilian chile flakes, to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Make the broccoli rabe: In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic until fragrant, 3 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until it’s tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop, then set aside.
2. Make the clam topping: Rinse the clams to wash off sand and debris. Soak for 30 minutes in salted water to allow the clams to purge any excess sand, then strain and rinse again.
3. In a large rondeau, add the olive oil and sweat the garlic, shallots, parsley stem and thyme over medium heat until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the white wine and the clams, stirring to coat. Cover the pan and allow the clams to steam until they open, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the clams to a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid. Return the pan to medium heat and reduce the liquid until syrupy, 12 to 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and let cool completely.
4. Once cool enough to handle, remove the clam meat from the shells and roughly chop, discarding the shells.
5. In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks, then stream in the reduced clam liquid and adjust for seasoning. Continue to whip the cream to medium peaks.
6. Make the pizza: Preheat the oven to 500º with a pizza stone on the middle rack. On a lightly floured surface, spread 1 ball of the pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle. Spread a quarter of the cream in a thin layer, leaving a 2-inch border around the surface of the dough. Top with a quarter of the chopped clams and broccoli rabe, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley and chile flakes. Transfer the pizza to the hot pizza stone until crisp and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve with lemon wedges. Repeat with the remaining 3 balls of pizza dough.