Legend has it that Clams Casino originates from the Casino at Narragansett Pier in New York City around 1917. Bacon and clams is a winning combination … and I’ve added some Greek oregano and Parmigiano Reggiano just to make it even better!
Cook the bacon over medium heat until it browns and just starts to crisp. Transfer with slotted spoon to drain on paper towel. Add the olive oil to the bacon fat (remove some bacon fat if desired and add a touch more olive oil) and add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, thyme and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables have softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar and remove from heat. Cool mixture completely.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cover bottom of the baking sheet with coarse salt, about ¼-inch deep. Using the coarse salt to balance the shells, arrange the clams nestled in bottom shells on the baking sheet.
Spoon the bacon and pepper mixture evenly on the clams. Top with the Parmigiano cheese. Bake the clams 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the clams cooked through.
Arrange the clams on a platter filled with more coarse salt. Serve immediately.