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Clams Cataplana


Cataplana is a Portuguese seafood dish, popular on the country's Algarve coast. It is also the name of the special cookware used to prepare the dish, which is traditionally made of copper and shaped like two clamshells hinged at one end and able to be sealed using a clamp on either side of the assembly.

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Clams 800 g
Ham 100 g
Onion 200 g
Garlic 3 cloves
Tomato (large) 1
Red or green pepper 1
White wine 50 ml
Olive oil 50 ml
Tabasco sauce to taste
Salt, sugar, and pepper to taste

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1. Scrub the clams well in cool water, pile in a large deep kettle, add the cold water andsalt.  Let the clams stand in the cold water about 1 hour.


2. Chop the garlic. Slice the onion, pepper and tomato into rings. Slice the ham in thin strips. Take a cataplana (if you don't have one, use a large heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid). Cover the bottom with onion rings. Then add chopped garlic, sliced pepper, tomato, and sliced ham.


3. Mix together 4 the olive oil, white wine, salt, sugar, pepper, and Tabasco sauce in a separate bowl. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and ham in the saucepan. Cover with the lid and bring to a boil.


4. Rinse the clams under the tap and add them to the saucepan. Cover and cook slowly for 8-10 minutes. When ready, toss together serve immediately.


5. The dish is served in the cataplana or the saucepan that was used for cooking it.Carry the cataplana to the table, open, and ladle into large soup plates. Be sure to put out a large bowl for empty clam shells.



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