Baked Clams

4 to 6 servings
  • 3 pounds Littleneck clams
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 pound clarified butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place clams in a bucket of cold water with cornmeal and salt. Set aside.

Place bread crumbs, Parmesan, lemon juice, zest, garlic, pesto, parsley, and olive oil in a bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together with half of the clarified butter. Mix together until moist but not too wet. Use additional butter only if needed.

Open each clam and place mixture on top. Place in oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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    First, fish and cheese is absolutely NOT forbidden in Italian cooking. My Roman grandmother threw more reggiano on her clam sauce than anyone I ever met and said it was how she always ate it. Only the French make food laws...Italians eat anything in any number of ways. 
    Its a no red wine with fish. 
    However, baked clams are definitely not an Italian thing, its just uses a classic breading mix for stuffed mushrooms which is used for artichokes, bracioles, and peppers.... very Italian. 
    Eat and drink what you like with your family, laugh, love and never forget the canoli....and your have an Italian Christmas! 
    Italians NEVER use cheese with sea food or fish, take out the cheese and it will be just fine.
    I made this for Christmas Dinner and the family loved them. They where very easy to make which made it better to enjoy when you're the one who makes them. The cornmeal is a great trick that I will have to keep in mind when using fresh clams for a meal.
    The breading was just right..not too salty and not too bland.
    Although I'm not sure if the cornmeal helped clean the clams. I just brushed the outside of the shells.
    I use it also with any type of fish and taste really good.
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