"Clams casino is a super-traditional Italian-American classic, usually served on special occasions, holidays or in every single Italian restaurant in Little Italy in Manhattan," says Pepperell. "We thought, why not make it even more special and serve it with scampi instead? I love clams but scampi is one of my all-time favourite treats from the sea."
- 1 head garlic
- 100 gm softened unsalted butter
- 1 small red capsicum
- For brushing: olive oil
- 2 tbsp panko crumbs (see note)
- 80 gm mild pancetta, finely diced
- 3 golden shallots, finely chopped
- For frying: olive oil
- 60 ml dry white wine
- 12 scampi, halved lengthways
- 1 tbsp chopped curly-leaf parsley
- 1 pinch gochugaru (see note), or other dried chilli flakes
- To serve: lemon wedges
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Wrap garlic in foil and roast until very tender (30-40 minutes). When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from the skins into a bowl, add butter and mix well. This can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
- 2Brush capsicum with oil and roast until tender and skin is blistered (30-35 minutes). Set aside to cool, then peel, core and dice and set aside.
- 3Spread panko crumbs on an oven tray and toast in oven, stirring occasionally, until golden (7-10 minutes).
- 4Sauté pancetta and shallots in a little oil in a frying pan over low-medium heat until translucent and softened (10-12 minutes). Deglaze pan with wine and simmer until evaporated (4-6 minutes), then stir in capsicum and remove from heat.
- 5Arrange scampi on an oven tray flesh-side up. Top each with a little pancetta mixture and then garlic butter, then roast until scampi is opaque and just cooked (6-10 minutes). Arrange on a plate, top with any remaining garlic butter and pancetta mixture, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, gochugaru and a squeeze of lemon, season to taste and serve.
Note Panko crumbs are available from Japanese grocers. If they're unavailable substitute dried breadcrumbs. Gochugaru, Korean dried chilli, is available from Asian grocers.