- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounce chouriço, linguiça, or dry-cured smoked spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch coins
- 2 ounce medium yellow onions, cut lengthwise in half and sliced into thin half-moons
- 1 ounce turkish bay leaf
- 4 ounce garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 4 pound small clams, such as cockles, manila, butter, or littlenecks, scrubbed and rinsed
- 3 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Heat the oil in a large cataplana or a pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
Dump in the chouriço (or dry-cured Spanish chorizo) and presunto (or Serrano ham, prosciutto) and cook, stirring occasionally, 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 10 to 12 minutes, shaking occasionally, until the clams open.
If using a pot, cook, covered, until the clams pop open, 10 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.