Clams Oreganata

Clams Oreganata

4 dozen littleneck clams on the half shell

2 cups breadcrumbs (I used Panko but ordinary bread crumbs are fine)

2 large cloves garlic

4 T. minced parsley

a dash of red pepper flakes, depending on your heat tolerance

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 t. dried oregano

6 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into small pieces

salt, pepper to taste

1/4 cup reserved clam liquid plus more for pouring in the bottom of the tray

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

Put a shallow amount of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Place the clams in the pot and stand over it, removing each clam just as it starts to open. Put them in a large bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill. Remove half of the shell, and using a grapefruit spoon or paring knife, loosen the clam from the other half of the shell.

Arrange the clams on an oven-proof tray. Mix the remaining ingredients together. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add more of the reserved clam liquid and/or olive oil. Heap a small amount on each clam half and carefully pour the white wine and a little of the clam liquid on the bottom of the tray. Drizzle the clams with a bit more olive oil and bake at 475 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown on top.