Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute until cooked, but not quite crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate and reserve.
Add the red pepper to the bacon drippings in the skillet, and cook for 1 minute more. Turn off the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, black pepper, and salt. Reserve the mixture until needed.
Add about 2 inches of water to a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add clams, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, or just until the shells open. Remove and drain the clams as soon as they open. Allow the clams to cool until they can be handled.
Twist and pull the clamshells apart, and remove the clam. Place the clam back into the deeper of the two shell halves. Spread the rock salt on a heatproof baking dish, and set the clams on top of the salt.
Divide the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of each clamshell, and top with one piece of bacon. Broil on high, about 8 inches from the heat, until the tops are browned and the edges of the bacon are crisp. Sprinkle on the fresh parsley, and serve hot with lemon wedges.
- 18 middle neck Sapelo Sea Farms clams
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 strips center-cut bacon, each sliced into 6 equal pieces (18 total)
- 3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- lemon wedges