serves: 6 servings
You can prepare the clams right in their baking dish up to several hours in advance and bake them just before you serve them.
36 littleneck clams
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 red or yellow bell peppers, roasted and peeled, cut into 1-inch squares
12 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
Shuck the clams, reserving the clam juice and arranging the clams on the half shell side in a 13 x 11 inch baking dish. Strain the juice through cheesecloth or a very fine sieve into the baking dish. Sprinkle some of the parsley over the clams. Top each clam with a square of roasted pepper. Cover the pepper with two squares of bacon. Using about 3 tablespoons of butter, dot the top of each clam with about 1/4 teaspoon butter. Cut the remaining butter into several pieces and tuck them in and around the clams in the baking dish. Add the wine and remaining parsley to the baking dish.
Bake until the bacon is crisp and the pan juices are bubbling, about 12 minutes. Arrange clams on a warmed serving platter, or divide them among warmed plates. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil on top of the stove. Boil until lightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon the juices over the clams and serve immediately.