Soak the clams for about 10-15 minutes before shucking. I found a great video demonstrating how to shuck clams. It is kind of time-consuming, but these appetizers were well liked by all.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 3 clams)
3/4 cup finely diced pancetta – get the store to slice this thin
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1 1/2-ounce) slice day-old country white bread (I used some stuffing mix but crushed croutons would also work)
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
36 littleneck clams, cleaned (this was about 2 lbs)
Lemon wedges (optional)
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pancetta to pan; cook 6 minutes or until pancetta begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook until liquid evaporates (about 30 seconds), scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add bell pepper, shallots, and garlic to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Place pancetta mixture in a medium bowl.
Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure about 3/4 cup. Add breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, and black pepper to pancetta mixture; stir until blended.
Discard any clams with broken or open shells. Shuck clams; discard top halves of shells. Top each clam with about 1 rounded teaspoon pancetta mixture. Broil 4 minutes; turn pan. Broil an additional 3 minutes or until tops are browned and clams are done. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
CALORIES 61 (43% from fat); FAT 2.9g (sat 1.2g,mono 1g,poly 0.3g); IRON 3.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 15mg; CALCIUM 25mg; CARBOHYDRATE 3.2g; SODIUM 163mg; PROTEIN 5.3g; FIBER 0.1g