Culinary Connections | Portugal Netherlands Italy


Amêijoas na Cataplana


The cataplana is a clam-shaped copper utensil for cooking light stews. A large wide saucepan is an admirable substitute.

The clams favoured by the Portuguese are medium-sized, anything smaller like the Italian vongole or larger like the Atlantic scallop won’t work with this dish.

The preferred place of cooking is outside, a half-moon on the horizon.

1.5 kg clams, soaked in salt water
500 g tomatoes, blanched, skinned, diced
500 g chorizo, thick sliced
150 g onions, chopped
100 ml dry white wine
50 ml olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
Parsley, for garnish
Pimento, flakes, for garnish
Salt, pinch
Pepper, pinch

Sauté garlic and onion over a low heat for ten minutes.

Turn up heat, pour wine and reduce for five minutes.

Add tomatoes, bring to boil. Add chorizo.

Turn heat down, simmer for ten minutes.

Remove clams from brine, rinse in cold water.

Add to tomato mixture, cook for ten minutes until clams open.

Serve immediately. Garnish with parsley and pimento flakes.


Zuurkool met Worst


Traditionally this dish was made with fresh sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut. The sauerkraut was simmered in salted water for 30 minutes, then sliced potatoes and whole sausages were added until cooked.

White beans replaced potatoes in some recipes.

Gradually this recipe morphed into a stamppot. The potatoes were mashed after being cooked. Onions were fried with smoked bacon in butter. The sausages were fried and braised.

Modern versions of zuurkool met worst tend to be bittersweet and savoury.


700 g smoked sausage, thick sliced
600 g sauerkraut, rinsed, drained
100 g bacon, diced
75 g brown sugar
2 apples, cored, peeled, diced
1 onion, chopped
15 g caraway seeds
6 juniper berries
Butter, for greasing

In a heavy bottomed pot place apple, caraway, juniper, sauerkraut and sugar, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for two hours over a low heat.

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a wide baking tray.

Fry bacon and onion over a high heat until both are crispy and caramelised. Add to sauerkraut mixture.

Fry sausage pieces over a high heat.

Add to sauerkraut mixture.

Pour into tray, bake for an hour.


Pollo Colle Salsicce


Nineteenth century Europe for those with land was a place of plenty.

Everything was produced on the farm – cottage and farm cheeses, cured pork, potted meat, terrines and the like, and most of all home-made sausages.

These became essential ingredient in sauces and stews.

One recipe was ubiquitous, sautéed chicken with sausages, largely because it was made with home produce, and chickens were plentiful.

Across Europe there were countless variations.

This is an adaptation of one recipe collected by Pellegrino Artusi in his Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

‘Chop half an onion very fine and put it in a saucepan with a bit of butter and four or five thin slices of prosciutto about a finger in width. On top of these ingredients put a whole chicken. Season with pepper and a little salt, and put on the fire. When it has browned all over and the onion has completely dissolved, moisten with broth or water and add three or four freshly-made whole sausages. Cook over a slow fire, making sure some liquid remains at the end.’

1.5 kg chicken, whole
250 ml chicken broth
6 pork sausages
6 slices prosciutto
1 onion
15 g butter
Oil, for frying

Wrap chicken in prosciutto, carefully brown in oil, turning several times in a wide saucepan. Season.
In a large deep pot, sauté onion in butter for 20 minutes.

Put chicken into pot, add broth, bring to boil, cover and simmer for an hour.

Add sausages and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.