CLAM AND BACON TART

Ingredients

1, sheet of frozen puff pastry (from a package of 2 like Pepperidge Farm)

4 tablespoons butter

10 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

4 ounces cream cheese

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 pound fresh chopped clams, drained and pressed dry with paper towels

½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (plus 2 tablespoons for garnish)

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

5 slices bacon, cooked crisp and finely chopped

Arugula Salad:

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup baby arugula leaves, packed

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Let the puff pastry sheet defrost on the counter while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Once it is soft enough, unfold the dough into a flat sheet.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add half of the garlic.  Cook until garlic is very fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the rest of the chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, and Ciao Bella Italian seasoning to the pan.  Cook for one more minute.

Add the salt, black pepper, cream cheese, and lemon juice to the pan.  Cook for another 2 minutes stirring until the cream cheese is mostly melted.  Add the clams and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes more, stirring frequently until most of the moisture is evaporated and a thick creamy sauce has formed.

Add ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir in the chopped parsley.  Turn off the heat and set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the pastry.

Place the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured countertop and roll into a rectangle, approx. 15” x 11”.  Place the dough on the parchment.  Poke holes all over the dough with a fork.  This will keep the dough from puffing the middle when the tart bakes.

Brush the dough all over with the garlic butter.

Spread the clam sauce evenly over the dough, leaving about ½” of the edge of the dough exposed.  Sprinkle the bacon over the top and then sprinkle evenly with the remaining ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.

Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown, bubbly, and puffed.  If the dough puffs up in the center during baking, just pierce it with a knife to deflate. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and mustard to make a dressing and toss with the arugula leaves.  Top the tart with the salad and garnish with additional parmesan cheese…. Cut into squares and DEVOUR!!

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