What’s white pizza in a few words? Indulgent and sinful – and it’s super in my face about it. When I’m looking at that by-the-slice menu board or ravenously scrolling through UberEats at 11:30 PM, white pizza always ends up a final contender.
I still love a classic cheese pie. Tomato sauce tastes delicious – but sometimes, I just want cheese, carbs, and nothing even remotely vegetable-derived to spoil my good time.
White pizza comes from Italy, obviously. But the recipe here, with clams and herbs, more closely mirrors a version of white pizza which has its roots in the American Northeast – where they developed what they call a white clam pizza. We have the brilliant Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut to thank for that.
Their clam pie toppings involve more ingredients than I have here – there are vegetables, seasonings and starch fillers that are mixed with the clams to create a filling, that is then baked onto the dough.
I elected for a simple, flavor-packed drizzling of olive oil infused with chopped clams, parsley and a &$^%-load of minced garlic. The way that oil settles into the pockets on the pizza makes me swoon. I don’t know about you, but I love a substantial slathering of grease on my pizzas.
How much does humanity love pizza? I’ll tell you.
My brother doesn’t like cheese and hasn’t for a very long time. When we probe him, I completely understand where he’s coming from. It smells bad – that is indisputable. It’s fresh dairy product that has been aged, often with mold added to it.
But, he still eats pizza. On multiple occasions, his orders for a meat-lover’s pizza, no cheese, have been met with hang ups from Dominos and Pizza Huts. Because that has to be a prank call, right?
That’s just how damn good pizza is. He orders pizza, without the cheese. Here I am, on my fifth or eight slice of pizza, thinking the cheese was the whole point. Nope. It turns out, pizza is just plain good. No matter what you put, or don’t put on it.
I N G R E D I E N T S
F o r t h e P i z z a D o u g h ( A d a p t e d c / o t h e B a r e f o o t C o n t e s s a )
- 2 / 3 cups warm water
- 1 package yeast
- 1 / 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 1 / 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 teaspoons salt
F o r t h e T o p p i n g s
- 1 / 2 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1 / 4 inch thick discs
- 2 / 3 cup parm reg, grated
- 2 / 3 cup gruyere, grated
- Olive oil, as needed
- Salt, as needed
- Pepper, as needed
F o r t h e O i l
- 1 / 2 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 / 4 cup clams, minced (fresh or high-quality canned clams with do)
- 1 / 3 cup fresh parsley, minced
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
D I R E C T I O N S
- Preheat the oven to 500*.
- Combine the water, yeast, honey, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 1 1 / 2 cups flour, then the salt, and mix.
- While mixing, add 1/ 2 more cup of flour.
- Knead the dough on low speed for 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
- Remove the dough and put on a floured board or stone countertop, and knead by hand a dozen times.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn it several times to cover it lightly with oil.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Roll and stretch the ball into a rough 16-inch circle using a rolling pin, and place it on a floured pizza baking sheet.
- In the meantime, heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic, clams, salt and pepper, and allow to heat through and simmer on low for five minutes. Off the heat, add the parsley, set aside and allow to cool.
- Use a brush to spread the olive oil evenly over the pizza. Do not oil the crust. Sprinkle the pie liberally with salt and pepper.
- Layer the cheese. First sprinkle the parm reg, then the gruyere, then the mozzarella cheese evenly across the pizza.
- Bake the pizza for 13 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling, and the dough is lightly browned.
- Allow the pizza to cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle the clam, garlic & parsley oil over the pizza, keeping extra on hand for additional garnish, if desired. Use a knife or a pizza roller to divide the pie into 8 slices, and serve hot.