Cataplana Stew with Clams and Sausages

Cataplana StewPictured is the stew base minus the clams because it is just plain rude to take photos of dinner with dinner guests and clams are pretty time sensitive, just imagine saucy clams added to the pot…Italian chicken, red wine and cheese sausages, kielbasa and fresh local clams are the stars of this Father’s Day dinner with friends easy to prepare great with a fresh loaf of parmesan pepper Italian bread.  A great one pot dinner if you want it to be, but I like to steam my clams in a separate pan until they just open and pluck them out one by one.  Gently stir the clams into to the stew…serve from table worthy pan or tureen.

Have ready:
3 tablespoons EVOO
5 Italian sausages and 1 kielbasa or other smoked sausage
4 ounces small cubed pancetta
1 can San Marzano tomatoes,
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste or plain tomato paste
1/2 large sweet onion sliced,
3 large cloves smashed garlic, 2 fresh bay leaves
pinches of Italian of sausage seasoning
pinches of seafood seasoning (Phillips)
2 teaspoons paprika or 1 teaspoon paprika and one teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio
Kosher Salt and ground pepper melange to taste

chopped fresh parsley for garnish
*optional grilled garlic thick garlic toasts for dunking

Heat EVOO in a large pan or Dutch oven or a pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat and sauté the pancetta until almost crispy add onion and sauté until and onion is soft .  Remove pancetta and onions to a bowl and reserve until time to put back into the stew.  Brown sausages, and slice into 1/4-1/2 inch rounds, cook until touched with brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, drop in the onions and bay leaf, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomatoes and any accumulated juice, the wine, and paprika. Discard any clams that feel heavy (which means they’re full of sand), have broken shells, or don’t close when tapped. Plonk the clams into the pot and turn the heat to high. If using a cataplana, lock it and cook for 6 minutes, shake the pan well to mix the contents, and cook until the clams open, 4 to 6 minutes more. If using a pot, cook, covered, until the clams pop open, 7 to 12 minutes. Carry the cataplana triumphantly to the table, making sure everyone’s watching, then release the lid. Bask in the applause. Discard the bay leaf and toss out any clams that refuse to pop open. Season with a few grinds of pepper, shower with parsley, and ladle the stew into wide shallow bowls. Oh, and have a big bowl on hand for the shells.
Fresh clams                                                                                                                                                  Gently stir steamed clams into stew…

Leite, David (2010-10-13). The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast (Kindle Locations 1738-1752). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.