Seafood Cataplana ♭

Cataplana is the Portugese word for a pot traditionally made of copper and shaped like two hemispheres hinged on one side and sealed using a clamp on the other. You don’t need one, however, to make this dish. A simple sauce pan with a lid will do fine.

Cataplana is also the name of a pork and seafood stew native to southern Portugal, there called amêijoas na cataplana (clams in a cataplana). My take on this dish appears below. The original calls for clams in their shells, but I opt for the canned variety, solely for convenience. Feel free to use 18-20 fresh clams instead, if you wish.

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz linguiça sausage or Spanish (not Mexican!) chorizo, casing removed
  • ½ cup shallot, diceed
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (15 oz) can baby clams, with juice
  • ½ lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved
  • 1 (14 oz) can lower-salt diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika, if using linguiça
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

In a cataplana or sauce pan with cover, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it is lightly browned. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook the mixture until it has softened and is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, clams, tomatoes, wine, paprika, and pepper. Cover and let the pot simmer for about 15 minutes for the bay leaves to infuse into the pan. Add the shrimp and cook until they are pink, 4 to 5 minutes.

Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Serve directly out of the pan.

Serves 2.