Aside from my usual 3D printing, electronics, and programming projects, I love cooking. A while back a friend of mine took me to Frank Pepe's pizza in New Haven. We had their White Clam Pie Appiza (New Haven style pizza) and it was delicious! There aren't many dishes that I want to replicate, but when I do, they really are the most tasty dishes I've come across.
I gave this Apizza a go and my family is hooked! Before returning to college, they always have me make several to keep for later. I hear my parents attempted making it, but the taste is never the same as mine. I'll explain my process in as much detail so you can enjoy the flavor sensation of the White Clam Pie.
My variation differs mainly with the greens that go on top of the Apizza. That and making sure to hit the five flavor senses (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami). This will be explained in the next step.
Step 1: Ingredients
- Pizza dough
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- Feta cheese (optional)
- Chopped garlic
- Dried oregano
- Maldon Salt (or regular salt)
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- Red Crushed Pepper
- Shungiku (crown daisy) or arugula
- Red wine vinegar or lime juice
After making this Apizza so many times, this has become my ideal list of ingredients. It seems like a lot, but trust me the flavor is worth it. The Pie really brings out the flavor of the clams and each topping without interfering with each other. The cheeses being mellow and sitting in the background letting the other tastes stand out.
Now about those flavor senses; this recipe is made to hit all of them. There's Parmigiano Reggiano for the sweet, Red wine vinegar/lime juice for the sour, shungiku/arugula for the bitter, Maldon salt (of course salty), and garlic for the umami.
I've mentioned shungiku a few times already, and most of you probably won't know what that is. It's Crown Daisy, also known as edible Chrysanthemum. Shungiku is a slightly bitter leafy green that is often used in Japanese hot pots. This addition was an accident, as I didn't have any arugula in the fridge. In my opinion, it has a more gentle taste and meshes well with the pie better than arugula.
Step 2: Prepare the Dough
Take the dough and roll it out into a circle to roughly 7-8 inches in diameter. This Apizza will be closer to a crispy flatbread than a doughy deep-dish. My parents got me a Breville Smart Grill for my birthday several years ago, and I was happy to hear that it gets hot enough to make pizza. While pizza purists may disagree, I have always been pleased by the pizzas that came out of this grill. It cooks from both top and bottom and gets to 450 F.
Step 3: Toppings
- First comes the cheese; mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, and feta (optional)
- Next comes the clams.I put roughly ten pieces.
- Grind some black pepper, red crushed pepper, and sprinkle in the salt (about a teaspoon). My personal favorite is the smoky Maldon salt. They come in huge crystals, yet their flavor is subtle and has some umami to it.
- Drizzle on the olive oil, enough to cover the clams.
- Crush some dried oregano (just a small handful). The olive oil and mozzarella whey soak into the oregano and adds to the overall smell and flavor.
- Dump a handful of shungiku. It shrinks and shrivels up, so don't be afraid to toss in more than can fit.
Step 4: Now Wait
Lower the smart grill top until it sits just above the tip of the shungiku. Once the shungiku shrivels, I lower it another step down. Wait about 4-5 min for the pizza to cook. Once the cheese melts and pushes the olive oil onto the grill the Apizza is ready!
Step 5: Eat!
Lift the grill top and eat! But before you do, add a splash of red wine vinegar or lime juice to add a hint of sour. Now you're done!
This Instructable is different from my usual ones, being my first recipe over electronics and design. Should I do more cooking or stick to my usual projects? Let me know what you think!
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