Littleneck Clams with Sausage in Tomato Sauce
(Prepared in the 5 Qt. Buffet Casserole)
The shape and size of this Buffet Casserole makes it an ideal pan for preparing Paella, the much-admired Spanish classic. While there are many versions of this, they usually contain chicken, seafood, sometimes sausage, cooked over a bed of saffron-scented rice. Go to a Spanish or international cookbook for inspiration. In the meantime, try this dish thatís suitable for even a weeknight meal.
Combining some sort of pork with clams is very Mediterranean. Youíll find versions of this combination throughout Portugal and Spain. This one is easy and quick, and by using the Buffet Casserole you can whisk the casserole from the stovetop to the table and serve the dish in style. As for the sausage, you can choose from chorizo or linguica Ė or in a pinch either mild or hot Italian links Serve with hunks of good country bread for dipping into the tasty sauce. This serves 4 to 6.
3 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, finely chopped, fronds reserved
1 small green bell pepper, cored and seeded and cut in small dice
1/2 pound chorizo or linguica, cut into small (1/4-inch dice)
2 (15-oz.) cans of petite diced tomatoes with green chilies or,
for a milder flavor, substitute diced tomatoes with lime and
cilantro and pass hot sauce at the table
4 pounds littleneck clams (smallest you can get), scrubbed
Using a food processor, drop the shallot and garlic into the feed tube with the motor running until finely diced. Heat the oil in the buffet casserole over medium heat and add the shallot, garlic, fennel, and green pepper. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until garlic is just golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Immediately stir in the tomatoes, and simmer, uncovered, and stirring from time to time until the sauce thickens. This should take about 20 minutes.
Add the clams to the pan. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir twice during the cooking and discard any clams that have not opened. Chop the reserved fennel fronds and sprinkle on the panís contents. Serve at once from the casserole.