Cockles in the Cataplana

Serves 4

  • 5 cls of olive oil ;
  • 300 grs of fresh tomatoes ;
  • 1,5 kg of cockles (amêijoas) ;
  • 2 cloves of garlic ;
  • 150 grs of onions ;
  • 60 grs of cured ham (presunto) ;
  • 100 grs of sausage (chouriço) ;
  • 1 bay leaf ;
  • 1 dl of white wine ;
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


Wash the cockles carefully in cold water. Cover them with salt water or, in its absence, with water and salt a few hours before cooking.
Peel the onions and chop them up in large pieces. Peel the garlic and mince it.
Place a pan on the flame and pour the olive oil into it. Add the garlic, onions, bay leaf and parsley. Fry until brown.
Add the white wine and let the mixture thicken.
Meanwhile, cut the ham into small pieces and soak them in cold water. Cut the sausage into half-moons. Take the stems of the tomatoes, scald the latter in boiling water and remove the skin and seeds. Dice the tomatoes finely and add to the ingredients in the pan. Also add the ham and sausage.
Stew for 5 to 10 minutes.
Take out the parsley and bay leaf. Remove the cockles from the salt water and wash them again in cold water.
Place a cataplana on the flame and i it put a layer of the contents of the pan. Place the cockles on top of this layer and cover them with the remaining contents of the pan.
Cover the cataplana and cook on a flame that is not very high.
After 5 minutes, turn the cataplana over and leave in on the stove for another 10 to 12 minutes so that the cockles can open.

Hint: Use large cockles. The cataplana should be opened only in the presence of the eaters.

Algarve Tourist Region

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