The name for this dish from the Algarve comes from the clam-shaped copper cooking vessel, known as a cataplana, in which it is classically cooked. Serve this popular tasca dish as a light supper or lunch, accompanied with lots of bread for soaking up any extra juices, or spoon it over rice or alongside boiled potatoes for a more substantial main course. Serve chili pepper sauce on the side.
- 2 1/2 pounds small clams in the shell such as Manilas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 yellow or red (Spanish) onions, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red pepper flakes or 2 fresh small hot chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- 1/4 pound smoked ham or prosciutto, diced
- 1/4 pound chorizo sausage, casing removed and crumbled
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups diced canned tomatoes and their juices
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges
Companion recipe: Chili Pepper Sauce
Discard any clams that do not close to the touch. Scrub the clams well under running water, place in a bowl of water and refrigerate until needed.
Warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes, if using, and sauté for 3 minutes longer. Add the fresh chilies (if using), the bay leaf, ham or prosciutto, sausage, wine and tomatoes. Stir well and simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
Add the clams, hinge sides down, and cover the pan. Raise the heat to high and cook until the clams open, about 3-5 minutes. Discard any clams that have not opened.
Ladle into warmed soup bowls, sprinkle with parsley and top with a liberal grinding of black pepper. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
498 calories; 21g total fat; 133mg cholesterol; 833mg sodium; 23g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 49g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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