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Chorizo and clams

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My husband and I recently had dinner at a new Mediterranean restaurant in Santa Barbara, called Toma. We sat at the bar and had a series of excellent tapas. Our favorite by far, was their Chorizo and clams with butter beans and black kale. Inspired by how delicious this combination was, I began doing some research. Chorizo and clams are served all over Spain and Portugal, and there are many many versions. From the simple (pretty much just chorizo and clams) to versions that add spices, vegetables and beans. After perusing a dozen different recipes, this is my rift on Chorizo and clams.


I use manilla clams, and fresh beef chorizo from Whole Foods. You can purchase piquillo peppers, sweet Spanish smoked paprika and saffron online. You can read more about these ingredients in my Spanish smoked paprika and saffron posts.

Easy and can be mostly made ahead of time

This is not a challenging recipe to make. You can prepare most everything in advance and then reheat the base, add the wine and clams, cook for 6 or 7 minutes and serve.


You want to keep your clams alive before you cook them. See my tips on how to store and handle clams.

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How to serve

You can serve this as a tapas, but I like to make it the main course. I pour the entire batch into a large ceramic bowl, put it into the center of the table and let everyone ladle up individual bowls. Enjoy with some crusty bread and a fresh green salad, such as:


Chorizo and clams

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Chorizo and clams is a classic combination served throughout Spain and Portugual. Seasoned with saffron and Spanish smoked paprika, make sure you have plenty of crusty bread to soak up the broth.

  • Author: Something New For Dinner
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


  • 2 1/4 cups dry white wine, divided (chicken broth can be substituted for all or part of the liquid)
  • 1 pinch saffron threads (about 1/2 t)
  • 1 pound yukon gold or other waxy potato, cut in half
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced lengthwise in 1/2″ slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t spanish sweet smoked paprika
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 8 to 10-ounce jar roasted piquillo peppers, cut into 1/4” slices, reserve liquid
  • 3/4 pound fresh chorizo sausage
  • 2 pounds live clams
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1 lemon cut in 6 wedges


  1. Pour 1/4 cup wine into a small bowl and add pinch of saffron. Set aside.
  2. Place potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just fork tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain potatoes and let cool. When cool to the touch, slip off skins and dice into 3/4 inch chunks. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan, or dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about five minutes, until they begin to soften. Sprinkle with paprika and continue to cook another minute. Add tomatoes and salt, and cook for about 7-8 minutes until tomatoes release their juices. Add piquillo peppers and cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Slice the sausage in half lengthwise and peel off the sausage skin. Chop the sausage into bite-sized pieces. If your pan is large enough, push the onion, pepper mixture to the sides of the pan and brown the sausage in the middle for about 6 minutes, stirring periodically. If your pan is smaller, remove the onion pepper mixture and brown the sausage. Once the sausage is browned, add the onion and peppers back to the pan.
  5. Add the potatoes to the sausage, pepper, onion mixture and stir to thoroughly coat the potatoes. At this point you can set the mixture aside until you are 10 minutes from serving.
  6. When you are ready to serve, reheat the onion, sausage, peppers and potatoes. Add remaining 2 cups of wine, reserved liquid from piquillo peppers, saffron threads soaking in wine, and clams and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer until clams have opened, about 7 minutes. Do not over cook or clams will be tough. Discard any clams that have not opened. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve in shallow bowls with a squeeze of lemon and crusty bread to soak up the broth.






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