Zesty Mediterranean flavors, sweet minced clams, diced Spanish chorizo, and a simple lemony arugula salad atop a thin crust... The simplicity and freshness of this easy Clam and Chorizo Pizza with Arugula Salad makes it a perfect summer weeknight meal, whether you choose a pre-made pizza crust, commercially prepared dough, or make your own pizza dough in the bread machine...
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.~~ John Steinbeck
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
My family (husband and 4 adult sons) and I have been making some version of this pizza for what seems like "forever." I am not sure where the idea for this pizza originated, but we're a food-crazed family that regularly handles interesting ideas. 😆 I am fairly confident in saying this is not an "Italian" style pizza.
Italian culinary doctrine - a constitution held up by Italian home matriarchs where infractions can be punishable by no supper or death - is very clear on the subject. Cheese and seafood shall not be mixed. Ever.~~ Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord, Smithsonian.com
Are rules not meant to be broken? I do feel there are times when fish and seafood pair well with cheese. It's a matter of balance. This is a "white pie" (no tomato sauce), and the cheese is a condiment rather than a focus of the pie. Classic Italian flavors - olive oil, garlic, shallot, crushed red pepper, and Mediterranean oregano - are combined with just a bit of spicy Spanish chorizo, and of course, clams.
Before a quick trip into a hot oven, this clam and chorizo pizza gets a few thin slices of fresh mozzarella, and a sprinkling of grated parmesan. This atypical combination is beautifully complemented by the bright, peppery bite of a lightly dressed arugula salad that is added after baking.
Pour a glass of crisp white wine, fold that slice in half, and savor the flavors. I think you'll find it a most pleasant repast on a warm summer evening. We certainly enjoyed it last week while vacationing with our "kids" in the Texas Hill Country. It was our son Evan's night to cook, and this is his interpretation of clam pizza. Love at first bite!
🍕 About the Pizza Dough
I love to make my own pizza dough using my bread machine, and sometimes I make enough in my bread machine to have enough extra to freeze for another day. Trader Joe's and other fine markets have begun selling good quality pizza dough (usually near the deli), and this is another great time-saving option.
While on vacation, though, an extra-thin prepared crust is perfectly acceptable! Whether you do spend the extra time making your own dough, you roll out ready-to-roll dough, or you use a prepared crust, you will enjoy the end result...
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- pizza crust - As I mentioned above, you can use a prepared crust, prepared dough, or make your dough from "scratch." I've done all three! If your crust isn't baked, you want to start with a pre-baked pizza crust cooked 4-6 minutes at 425°.
- olive oil
- Spanish chorizo - Spanish chorizo is a cured, hard sausage. I have the deli counter cut ¼" slices which saves me time when I dice it. DO NOT MISTAKE FOR MEXICAN CHORIZO!
- shallot - Substitute red, white, yellow onion if preferred.
- crushed red pepper - Optional, but we love the little bit of heat!
- Mediterranean oregano - I have Mediterranean oregano in my garden, and that is my preference. I use about 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped. If you use dried, use the oregano leaves, and reduce to about 1 teaspoon.
- clams - I have used minced, chopped, and whole baby clams in the can with their juice. My favorite is the baby clams.
- fresh mozzarella - Fresh mozzarella makes this pizza. Don't tell me if you substitute the dry kind!
- parmesan - Please grate parmesan from a block or wedge. Pre-grated contains additives that will muck up your pizza.
- arugula - We love the peppery bite of arugula, but I have used baby spinach and baby kale in a pinch.
- lemon - You'll want both the zest and the juice of 1 juicy lemon.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees (450 convection).
- Make the clam and chorizo mixture - Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced chorizo, shallot, and garlic. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes until very fragrant. Add the crushed red pepper and oregano, saute another 1 to 2 minutes. (Be careful to not burn!) Stir in the clams and their juice. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
- Prepare the pizza - If using pizza dough, pre-bake the crust until it is beginning to brown. If using a prepared crust, skip this step. With crust on a pizza stone or sheet pan, spread the chorizo and clam mixture evenly over the pizza. Top with a few thin slices of mozzarella and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
- Bake the pizza - Place in hot oven. Bake 5 to 8 minutes until pizza edges are nice and brown and cheese is bubbly.
- Make the lemony arugula salad - While the pizza bakes, whisk the lemon juice and zest with the olive oil, then toss with the arugula. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve - Remove the pizza from the oven, top with the arugula salad, and serve.
💭 Tips and FAQ
Is this pizza good leftover? We don't think so. The arugula loses its crisp freshness, and the clams get strong-flavored. This is a pizza best enjoyed right away!
Can I make this pizza in advance? You can prep a lot of it in advance. Make the chorizo and clam mixture, and refrigerate until ready to use. Slice the mozzarella and grate the parmesan. If you're making your own pizza dough, get it made. You can pre-bake the crust through lightly browned. Assemble the pizza just before serving.
Prepare the arugula salad while the pizza bakes. It's just arugula, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. It only takes a few minutes.
Need wine pairing ideas? We love this pizza with a crisp sauvignon blanc or unoaked chardonnay.
🧂 Useful Stuff
Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊
If you love interesting and unusual pizzas you might want to take a look at my Mexican Grilled Pizza with Shrimp Ceviche and Avocado Hummus, Grilled Rocoto and Bison Pizza, Mexican Green Chile and Shrimp Pizza, and my Fresh Fig and Soppressata Pizza. Fresh figs are just becoming available at my local market, and I'm looking forward to making that one again. Do you have a favorite unusual pizza you make or love to enjoy out? I'd love to hear from you! Until next time...