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Cataplana

Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total preparation time: 30 minutes

8 whole allspice berries
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large or 4 small dried bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small onion (3 to 4 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small to medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
One 6-ounce piece chourico, cut into 16 slices
One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved, and diced
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds small little neck clams (about 32 clams), scrubbed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Working Ahead – the stew can be made completely ahead to the point where the clams go in; chill it quickly in a sink of ice water, then cover and refrigerate. To finish, bring the stew base up to a boil over medium heat, add the clams and proceed with the recipe.

Crack the allspice berries gently by crushing them under a small frying pan. Heat the oil in a cataplana or a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the allspice berries, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bay leaves turn dark olive, about 1 minute.

Add the garlic and swirl it in the oil until golden brown on the edges, about 1 minute. Stir in the onion and bell pepper, increase the heat to medium-high, and saute, stirring frequently, until the bell pepper begins to lose its vibrant color, about 4 minutes.

Add the chourico and saute it until it begins to tint the vegetables brownish-red, about another minute. Stir in the tomatoes, with their juice, the wine, and black pepper and let the stew come to a boil at a leisurely pace. (No salt will be needed because of the natural salinity of the clams.)

Add the clams, cover tightly, and steam them for 5 minutes. Stir them quickly, cover the pot again, and steam for another 4 to 5 minutes, until all the clams are open. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve family-style in the cataplana or divide among four soup plates.

Sponsors

Thanks to

Sara's Weeknight Meals is produced by Silver Plume Productions and WETA Washington, DC, and distributed by American Public Television (APT) to public broadcasting stations nationwide. Corporate funding is provided by Best Buy, Gallo and King Arthur Flour. |

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