Merguez Sausage and Steamed Clams with Sofrito

Dylan Fultineer

Rappahannock - Richmond, VA

Flavors of Spain and North Africa meet in this delicious stew.


  • Sofrito:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chile de arbol
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cups finely diced mixed peppers, such as red, green, and pasilla
  • 2 cups finely diced sweet onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Merguez Sausage:
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch crushed chile de árbol or cayenne pepper
  • Pepper to taste
  • 24 clams, preferably Olde Salt littlenecks or other littleneck clams
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Make the sofrito: heat the olive oil in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add the bay leaf, chile, and rosemary. Toast until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, add the tomatoes and sherry, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Make the merguez sausage: combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well.

In a large pot over medium heat, cook the merguez sausage, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon. Cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the clams and fino sherry. Cover the pot and increase the heat to high. Cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes. (Discard any clams that don’t open.) Stir in the sofrito and heat the mixture until it starts to simmer. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the stew among 4 serving bowls. Serve with crusty bread.


4 servings