Baked clams oreganata are a must-have for a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is celebrated on Christmas Eve, but these would be a lovely appetizer for any special meal.
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks/1 cup) butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Salt and pepper
- 24 small hard-shell clams such as littlenecks, shucked, reserving 24 half shells
- 4 large lemons, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Scrub reserved clamshells inside and out and dry completely.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
For the breadcrumb topping:
In a small bowl, stir together topping ingredients until combined well and season with salt and pepper. Chill until compounded. Then once it is solid, slice it into pieces to top clams.
For the clams:
Return shucked clams to shells and cover generously with crumb topping.
Spread the lemon slices to cover the bottoms of 4 shallow baking pans and nestle shells to keep them level.
Bake clams in middle of oven for 10 minutes. Remove and serve in the baking pans.