Clams with Spicy Sausage in Broth

by Sarah on August 18, 2011

Sometimes, I amaze myself.

I mean, I know I’m not inventing the wheel or anything here, this recipe is a riff on Cataplana, a spicy Portuguese stew.  But you know me, Readers, I live my culinary life flying by the seat of my pants.  I usually have a general idea of what I want to do, and occasionally I have the ingredients to do it.  Otherwise, I wing it with the ingredients I do have.

For this one, I had a pound of Manila clams that needed cooking.  And I had to pick up my sausage order from Jason.  And I didn’t really have anything else.  Of course.

Whaddaya know, a random box of chicken stock, and old half-bottle of sauv blanc lingering in the back of the fridge and a free overripe tomato from my friend at the farmer’s market.  Bingo.

You have to soak the clams in some cold salted water so they will purge all their sandy stuff.  I put them in a bowl, cover with water and put about 2 tsp of salt in.  Then stand back and watch!  It’s fun to see them all spitting.  I am easily entertained.

I sauteed the sausage and onion together until the onion was soft, then added the clams, tomatoes, garlic and the liquid.  Cover and let them boil  until the clams open.  It should only take a few minutes.  Add some chopped parsley into the mix.

When I first put all the liquid in I thought “oh crap, it’s too brothy”.  You might think that too, but don’t despair.  The broth is so good, you want it all.  It was almost not enough!  Get some nice crusty bread that you can soak it all up with, you will be happy you did.

Clams with Spicy Sausage in Broth


  • 1 pound Manila or other small clams
  • 3 spicy sausages, such as hot Italian sausage or spicy chorizo or linguica
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 large tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • salt, pepper, chili flakes (optional)


  • Soak clams in salted water for 30 minutes so the clams will purge their sand. Drain.
  • In a large frying pan, saute the sausage, removed from the casings, with the chopped onion. Cook until the sausage is mostly done and the onion is soft. Add the drained clams, tomatoes, and garlic and stir through.
  • Add the wine and chicken stock, bring to a boil and cover. Let boil until the clams open, about 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped parsley. Taste the broth and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes if needed.
  • Serve with a warmed loaf of crusty bread.

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