This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Sep 24, 2019

New Haven Style Clam Pizza

This New Haven Style Clam Pizza, also known as White Clam Pizza, with a Neapolitan style crust, cheeses, and clams, is reminiscent if the one invented by Pepe's Pizzeria in Connecticut.

New Haven Style Clam Pizza

New Haven Style Clam Pizza is simply a delicious Neapolitan-style pizza topped with cheese, clams, and herby olive oil, and cooked in a wood fired oven.

What is Neapolitan-Style Pizza? 

It begins with the crust. Neapolitan-style pizza crust is thin, airy, and crispy. The dough is pretty sticky, so you can't really roll it out. Instead, you stretch it out thinly before topping. It's typically baked in a wood fired oven, and is ready in less than five minutes.

I don't have a wood-fired oven, so I set up my oven with a baking stone and heat the oven to the highest setting available for about an hour. When the oven is ready, top your pizza and bake it for 10 to 12 minutes.

Clam Pizza

How to shape Neapolitan-style dough:

Traditional recipes will tell you to sprinkle some semolina flour on a pizza peel, place the shaped dough over the semolina, top it, and slide it onto the stone. 

When I have tried this method with a really wet dough, I've ended up with misshapen pizzas and semolina all over the kitchen floor. If you've mastered the method, I envy you. 

I've since discovered that if you lightly oil good quality parchment paper and stretch the dough over it, you can take your time topping the shaped dough before transferring it to the baking stone (for example, with this barbecue chicken pizza). Good quality parchment paper, such as Reynolds or King Arthur Flour's, will withstand the hot oven and will not compromise the crispiness of the crust. 

You can also bake the pizza for about 3 minutes and then pull the parchment out from under the baking pizza and continue to bake it. 

Clam Pizza from connecticut

Origins of New Haven Style Clam Pizza:

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletano in New Haven, Connecticut is credited with inventing this pizza. 

The pizzeria was founded in 1925 (according to Frank's website) by an Italian immigrant, who referred to pizza as "apizza," which is how it sounded in the Neapolitan dialect. The family lived over the pizza store. The white clam pizza, developed in the 1960's, was their signature pizza. 

If you can get fresh shucked clams, by all means, use them for this pizza. You can also use clams that you steam yourself to open and harvest the clams. I used canned whole baby clams from New England, which I found at my local "fancy" grocery store. 

Canned clams

This pizza is really tasty. When you make it, you will feel like an accomplished pizza baker. For the dough, be sure to use the formula in this recipe

If you like it, be sure to follow the same formula with other seafood, such as raw shrimp, scallops, or calamari for more variations.

Progressive Eats

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month's theme is A New England Feast. From lobster and blueberries to Vermont cheddar and pizza, New England cuisine encompasses a lot. Our host this month is Sarah Walker Caron who blogs at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it's a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the deliciousness we've put together for our celebration inspired dishes!

A New England Feast

Main Courses

White Clam Pizza from connecticut

New Haven Style Clam Pizza Recipe

Yield: One 12-inch pizza
This New Haven Style Clam Pizza, also known as White Clam Pizza, with a Neapolitan style crust, cheeses, and clams, is reminiscent if the one invented by Pepe's Pizzeria in Connecticut.


For the Herb Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of chile flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
For the Pizza
  • All of the Herb Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 ounces whole clams
  • One 10 ounce dough ball from this pizza dough recipe
  • 1/2 cup shredded full-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Regianno cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


How to cook New Haven Style Clam Pizza Recipe

  1. Place a baking stone on the middle shelf of your oven. Heat your oven to its highest setting for at least an hour. 
  2. In a bowl, mix the herb oil, lemon juice, and clams. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. 
  3. Stretch the dough out into a 12 inch round over a piece of lightly oiled parchment paper. The dough should be super thin in the middle and slightly thicker on the edges. Let the dough rest while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. 
  4. Mix the cheeses in a small bowl. Spread the cheese mixture over the dough. Spread the clam and oil mixture over the cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  5. Slip a pizza peel under the parchment and transfer the pizza to the baking stone. 
  6. Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes. The pizza should be charred at the edges. 
  7. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle with the fresh parsley. 
  8. Slice and serve. 
pizza, new haven pizza, Connecticut, clams, New England
Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza by Peter Reinhart (2003). He is the author of the award winning The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Would you like to comment?

  1. We were in Naples last autumn, and the first thing we had was a pizza! But truthfully, none were as good as this one looks and sounds. And I'm thinking your herb oil would be spectacular on soooo many things! Saving!!

  2. We love pizza in our house. This recipe looks delicious.

  3. This looks amazing; so very much up my alley. I have not had a tomato sauce based pizza in years, much preferring that the toppings be the star and not have them be impacted with the taste of tomato. I HAVE to make this stat!

  4. what better way to make the beautiful ingredients shine!! Lovely crust on that pizza! �� Absolute yumminess

  5. This takes pizza to a new level! I love this creative idea. Bring on the clams.

  6. I love the idea of the herb oil base Karen! (The herbier the better!) I can almost taste it with the clams... I guess I'd better get to it and make one as my mouth is watering. BTW, that crust is spectacular!

    1. "Herbier the better is m new favorite mantra!"

  7. I don't do things with clams often enough but every time I do, I'm so glad I did! I'm sure going to try them on pizza next time. This looks divine!

  8. I've never even thought about a clam pizza, but the thought of this is making my mouth water!! And I can't wait to try it with your crust recipe!

  9. The pizza charred all across the bottom at 8 minutes at 500 it would have been worse at 550 the highest temp available. It was uneatable. Parchment burned. The flavor of the topping was really good but the dinner a disaster. I have been making thin crust pizzas for years and this was the first total disaster. Back to corn meal and pizza on the stone with no parchment and 4-5 minutes. I will up date how it works.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that! I did mine at 550 too!


I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.