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New Haven Pizza Question

mucho gordo Feb 12, 2011 09:24 AM

Do the places that make a clam pizza use tomato or alfredo sauce? The reason I'm asking is that I found a place here in CA that makes a clam and garlic pizza but does not indicate the sauce they use. I would think that the N.H. pizza would have a white sauce which is what I would prefer. Since it seems to have originated there, I would like to know what is correct.

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  1. bagelman01 RE: mucho gordo Feb 12, 2011 10:17 AM

    It varies............
    Pepe's 'famous' clam pie is white.

    I frequent Sally's and get a red clam, or red clam and bacon pie.

    Way back when, Catholics didn't eat meat on Fridays, so the white pie with clams made sense. Apizza places often saved money by using bacon drippings in the tomato sauce instead of just using oil (I worked in a New Haven Pizza place during the early seventies and we'd precook a case of bacon at a time, pouring off the grease into a large pot to start the sauce), so observant Catholics wouldn't eat a red pie on Fridays.

    So, it's not a matter of what is correct or authentic, but of what you like.

    I've been eating RED Clam pies on Wooster Street for more than 50 years, I'm not interested in a white pie of any variety.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bagelman01
      mucho gordo RE: bagelman01 Feb 12, 2011 03:11 PM

      Thanks, Bagelman. I wasn't aware of how they were made or that it was similar to the linguine dish.

      14 Candlewood Lake Rd Ste 7, Brookfield, CT 06804

    2. p
      plien69 RE: mucho gordo Feb 12, 2011 10:32 AM

      The classic Pepe's white clam pie does not use a "sauce," per se. And it is most definitely not an alfredo sauce. The sauce on the pie comes from the liquor of the shucked clams mixing with the olive oil and grated cheese. Oregano and copious amounts of chopped garlic add flavor also. There is nothing else on a Pepe's white clam pie besides these ingredients.

      5 Replies
      1. re: plien69
        mucho gordo RE: plien69 Feb 12, 2011 03:03 PM

        So it's similar to what I get when ordering linguine with clam sauce (white). That's what I'm looking for. Now I know what to ask for

        1. re: mucho gordo
          bagelman01 RE: mucho gordo Feb 12, 2011 05:05 PM

          Mucho, the linguini with clam sauce (red or white) would not be made with grated cheese, which is used on Pepe's white clam pie,.

          Traditionally, Italians did not use cheese in fish/shellfish dishes, but grated peccorino was used on apizza in New Haven (regardless of other toppings)(predates the mozzarella craze).

          1. re: bagelman01
            kattyeyes RE: bagelman01 Feb 13, 2011 03:23 AM

            <<the linguini with clam sauce (red or white) would not be made with grated cheese>>

            Oh, but it WOULD be at my house--rather, not made with, but served on top. Guess it depends on which Italian is in the kitchen! And always Pecorino Romano a Casa Katty. ;P

            1. re: kattyeyes
              mucho gordo RE: kattyeyes Feb 13, 2011 11:58 AM

              and don't forget the red pepper flakes <G>.

              1. re: mucho gordo
                kattyeyes RE: mucho gordo Feb 14, 2011 09:04 AM

                You betcha!

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