These Spanish Clams are simmered with cannellini beans, chorizo sausage and great flavor enhancers. It’s an amazing tapas dish that will easily impress guests, but is easy enough for any weeknight.
This is one of those dishes where just a few ingredients combine to form something unbelievably delicious.
If you only try one new recipe this week, make it this gorgeous skillet!
With Valentine’s day coming up, we wanted to give you a really special meal.
On a recent trip to New Orleans (which I’ll be posting about soon), we ate at a Spanish restaurant called Costera. That’s where we first had this clam tapas dish. We decided right then that we had to recreate it for GypsyPlate!
What are Tapas?
“Tapa”, singular to plural Tapas, is not any particular type of food. Anything can be tapas, simple croquettes, ham and cheese on toast, salads, meatballs,or piping hot chorizo sausage, as long as it’s small portions and comes on small plates.
They are normally served with drinks. They could be cold and simple, like marinated olives, or hot and elaborate. The most common story behind the origin of tapas is that they started out as small slices of meat or bread served in bars that patrons could use to cover their drinks to keep the flies out.
“Tapas” is the Spanish verb for “to cover”. Slowly but surely, the small bar snack started becoming just as essential as the drinks. They also started becoming more elaborate.
Ingredients for this Spanish clam dish
- Littleneck clams
- Chorizo sausage – specifically Spanish or Portuguese, which is pre cooked.
- Cannellini beans
- Chicken stock
- Grape tomatoes
- Seasonings – fresh thyme, black pepper and saffron (optional).
- Olive oil
Purging the clams
An important prep step is “purging” the clams. This is because they live on the ocean floor and naturally they have some sand in their shells, which doesn’t make a good addition to your dish!
First, give them a quick scrub under cold water to clean the shells, then place them in a colander.
Fill a large pot with cold water and mix in 2 tablespoons of salt per liter. Once well mixed, submerge the colander full of clams into the water. Leave them for 20-30 minutes to purge the sand.
How to make Spanish Clams with Chorizo
First, brown up the thinly sliced chorizo. It’s already cooked, so you just want to give it some nice color and flavor. Then, remove it to a plate.
Then, add the chopped onions to the skillet and sauté till golden brown. Add in chopped garlic and stir for about a minute.
Pour in chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Add back in sausage along with beans and seasonings. Mix well and let it all simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then, add in the tomatoes and cook for an additional five minutes.
Finally, it’s time for the clams. We arranged them in the skillet so they would open facing up. It looks great, and would really impress guests. Cover and cook for five minutes. If not all of the clams have opened, give it another few minutes. Any clams that do not ultimately open should be discarded.
When ready to serve, garnish with more thyme or chopped parsley and give it all a generous dousing of olive oil.
We enjoyed this Spanish clam dish with toasted ciabatta rolls. It would go great with any crusty bread, like my no knead bread.
For a heartier plate, try it atop a bed of pasta like spaghetti or linguine, or rice.
We prefer to eat our seafood the day it’s cooked. But if you do have leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container and eat within two days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave with a splash of additional water.
Are you ready to make these Spanish clams in your kitchen? Trust us, you’ll be glad you did! Save or pin this gorgeous recipe, and please leave a star rating and comment when you try it!
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Spanish Clams with Chorizo, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2lbs littleneck clams
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 8oz Spanish or Portuguese chorizo, thinly sliced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 5-6 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 28oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 6-7 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6-7 strands saffron
- Black pepper, to taste
- 8oz grape tomatoes, halved
- Olive oil, for garnish
- Scrum the clams under cold water to clean the shells, then place them in a colander. Fill a large pot with cold water and mix in 2 tablespoons of salt per liter. Once well mixed, submerge the colander full of clams into the water. Leave them for 20-30 minutes to purge the sand, then drain.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chorizo and brown each side, then remove to a plate.
- Add onion to the skillet and sauté until lightly browned. Then, add in garlic and sauté for one minute.
- Pour in chicken stock and deglaze the pan. Add back in chorizo along with cannellini beans, thyme, saffron and black pepper. Simmer 10-15 minutes.
- Add in tomatoes and cook 5 more minutes.
- Place clams into the bean mixture, cover the skillet and cook 5 minutes. If not all of the clams have opened, cook an additional 2 minutes. Any clams that do not ultimately open should be discarded.
- When ready to serve, garnish with more thyme or chopped parsley and give it all a generous dousing of olive oil.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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