Clam pizza is the kind of pizza that you need to start eating immediately after it's cut into slices, before the copious clam juices have a chance to render the crust completely soggy (though some degree of sogginess is inevitable—a feature for some, even). Even so, roasting a clam in the open heat of an oven is not the ideal way to do it, even if its been freshly shucked. Want to know the secret to the absolute tenderest, most flavorful clams and juiciest clam pizza around? Place the whole, unshucked clams on that pie before baking. It may look strange at first, and it will definitely look strange when it comes out of the oven, but the clams will be insanely tender and you won't lose a single drop of those precious juices.
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Though New York may lay claim as the cradle of pizza in America, many people would say that New Haven has the best. Certainly, there are a higher ratio of good to bad pizzerias in the area than there are almost anywhere else in the world. The question is, who's got the best?
As with any road trip, the all-important matter of lunch came up first. Even before we started discussing it, I was pretty sure where Ed was going to lead us. See, both he and Connecticut Slice correspondent Amy Kundrat have waxed poetic about what is supposedly the "best clam pizza on the planet" (according to Ed). As a kid who pretty much grew up eating clam pizzas in New Haven and beyond, this, I had to taste.
The news cycled quickly through the Slice ranks: Bill Pustari, owner of venerated New Haven pizzeria Modern Apizza, just opened a concession stand at Seattle's Safeco Field. For a Seattleite like myself, 3,000 miles from Connecticut, the only natural reaction to such an announcement is to emit the high-pitched squeal usually reserved for prepubescent girls upon acquisition of backstage passes at a Justin Bieber concert.