This week’s blog comes with a warning . . . this pizza is not for the faint of heart. However, the results are worth the effort. I’ll be the first to admit that cooking seafood terrifies me a bit (namely because I’m afraid of fish!) I’ve wanted to do a pizza with Manchego for a while now … it’s a hard, Spanish sheep’s milk cheese that’s great alone or shredded on top of dishes (or in this case, pizza!) For more Spanish flair, I added chorizo, roasted red pepper, and purple onions. A co-worker made the great suggestion to add clams, and with the help of our seafood department, I walked out of Whole Foods (slightly) confident about cooking clams! I picked up one chorizo sausage, removed it from it’s casing (yuck) and browned the chorizo first.
One sausage went a long way. Chorizo is very spicy and salty. I used a frozen pizza crust from Traitor Joe’s… this was a disappointment. The crust didn’t rise and was very thin. This is a white pizza, with only olive oil for the “sauce.” I added a little mozzarella to combat a bit of the salty Manchego.
After I put the olive oil and cheese on top, I added slices of roasted red pepper, purple onions, chorizo, and finally the clams (I bought 12). I did not steam the clams before putting them on the pizza. Instead, I stuck them on the pizza with the seam side facing down. I cooked it at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes.
I added a couple dashes of lemon juice before cooking the pizza. All of the clams opened up and cooked well by the end of twelve minutes. One downside to cooking the pizza with the clams on it? Lots of liquid. Like, running, everywhere.
Another downside to this pizza is shucking the hot clams! I had to wear an oven mitt to hold the clam in one hand while prying it open with a knife. However, the clams cooked up well inside … they didn’t get too chewy. Even though this step was messy, I liked that it saved the step of steaming the clams first. You can’t really see the clams on this final pizza shot, but they are there, I promise!
I’m very pleased with the end results of this pizza (minus the Traitor Joe’s crust.) The chorizo added some spice and I didn’t even miss the sauce. I would probably reduce the amount of Manchego that I put on this pizza in the future though … it’s just a bit too salty, especially with the sausage. However, the fresh red onion and roasted red peppers were quite nice. Chance and I both decided that the clams were our favorite part of the pizza!
This Spanish pizza was a great experiment. I never would’ve expected to like clams on a pizza as much as I did! We enjoyed it with a glass of Shiraz, which proved an excellent pairing. Thanks to Chance for always being up to try one of my adventurous flavor combinations. Give this recipe a shot if you want a pizza unlike anything you’ve tried before.
Pizza and blessings,