Sambuca Clams Casino with Lemon Butter Cracker Crumble

A variation of the classic clams casino appetizer that originated in Rhode Island.

Sambuca Clams Casino

Sambuca Clams Casino with Lemon Butter Cracker Crumble

I enjoyed Scott Crain’s oyster Rockefeller recipe so much that I decided to make a spinoff of it for another classic shellfish recipe, clams casino. I really like the touch of Sambuca, which sweetens these up a bit, and the lemon butter cracker crumble really puts them over the top.


12 littlenecks, shucked in half

1/2 cup linguica, diced

3 tablespoons garlic, diced

1/8 cup fresh parsley, diced

1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Sambuca

4 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cups lemon butter cracker crumble (see below)

Lemon Butter Cracker Crumble

2 sleeves of Ritz or similar crackers, crushed

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped


Heat a frying pan on medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Next add the linguica, reduce heat to low, and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Sambuca and butter, then cook until butter is melted. Add parsley and cracker crumbs, remove from heat, and let it come to room temperature.

Scrub the clams well, and then shuck them by running the knife right down the middle of the clam, which will cut the meat in half, resulting in 2 portions from each clam. (I call this the “cheater shuck.”) Run the knife under the meat to release it from the shell. Place clams on a metal baking sheet.

Tools and Tips to Gathering Clams

Stir the cheese into the cracker crumb mixture and place a spoonful atop each clam, then sprinkle on a dusting of paprika. Position the rack in the middle of your oven. Broil on low for 7 to 9 minutes until they just start to brown on top.

Serve with the hot sauce of your choice. Divine!

View more of Andy’s “Living Off the Land and Sea” recipes

1 thought on “Sambuca Clams Casino with Lemon Butter Cracker Crumble

  1. Ken Giacometti

    Ain’t no gambling about these delicious recipes! Keep em coming big Andy!

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