My wife and I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Portugal, where we ate seafood almost every day. This recipe adapts the Portuguese method of cooking clams and garlic sausage together in a covered pot, a cataplana. Portuguese clams are different from ours, so I have substituted mussels. Butter clams would also be good.
2 pounds of mussels
1/3rd of a pound Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4” cubes
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4” squares
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, sliced and minced
1 box Pomi brand chopped tomatoes (26 oz.), or two cans
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika (I like smoked paprika)
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine (or vermouth)
In a large pot with a lid, melt the onions in olive oil, then add the garlic. After a minute or two, add the chopped tomatoes, sausage, bell pepper, bay leaf, paprika, and hot pepper flakes. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
Add the white wine, stir, and then add the shellfish. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes, then check that all the shellfish have opened. If not, re-cover and cook a few more minutes. Discard any that remain closed.
I shell half the mussels, then spoon those and the remaining mussels and tomatoes into soup plates and sprinkle with parsley.
Serves 2. For more servings, add 1 pound shellfish per person, more onions (1 for every 2 people) and garlic (ditto).