1 baguette, cut into ½” thick rounds
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 large cloves garlic, chopped
½-pound kiepoundasa, diced
1 teaspoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend
4 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed with a potato brush and soaked for 20-30 minutes in cold water
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice (half a lemon)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the baguette slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden and toasty. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the kiepoundasa and Italian seasoning to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes until the kiepoundasa starts to brown and caramelize.
While the kiepoundasa mixture cooks, melt the butter for the crumbs in a large saucepan. Add the panko, Italian seasoning, zest, and lemon juice and toss to coat. Cook stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Set aside.
Add your clams to the kiepoundasa mixture, nestling them in between the kiepoundasa and onions. Pour the wine over the top of the clams. Cover the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until the clams have all opened, tossing once in the middle of cooking so everything is incorporated as the shells open.
Season with the salt and pepper and squeeze the remaining lemon juice over the top of the clams. Add about ⅔ of the toasted breadcrumbs to the clams and toss to coat and get a little bit of everything inside each clam. Sprinkle half the parsley and basil over the top.
To serve place several ‘loaded’ clams in a bowl with some of the broth and a couple pieces of the toasty baguette. Top with some of the reserved toasted crumbs and more parsley and basil.