Spicy Spanish Clams

I’ve been dreaming about these clams simmered in spicy, garlicky tomato sauce ever since having them at a local tapas place last month. The rest of our meal was just ok, but the clams were outstanding – I wanted to drink the leftover sauce right from the plate. It was one of those meals that I immediately knew I had to put my own spin on at home.

I gave my version a more sultry, smokey flavor by using fire roasted tomatoes and a big shake of smoked paprika and rounded it out with a big pat of butter. Served with wedges of sourdough bread for soaking up the extra sauce and a big plate of garlicky green beans, this is the kind of meal you’ll happily linger over for hours.

spicy clams

Sopa de Almejas at Barcelona Restaurant in Albany, NY

Spicy Spanish Clams
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) Muir Glen Organic fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 24 littleneck or middleneck clams, scrubbed well
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Lightly toasted sourdough bread, for serving
  1. Puree the tomatoes in a food processor or blender.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic; cook 2-3 minutes or until light golden brown and very fragrant. Pour in the tomato puree, smoked paprika, red peppers, and cayenne. Reduce heat to low and let simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the clams in a single layer (work in batches if necessary) and cook until they pop open – about 5-8 minutes. Stir 1 cup of the cooking liquid and the butter into the sauce to thin it out a bit. Add the cooked clams in their shells; simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with big wedges of lightly toasted sourdough bread for dipping.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 408 Fat: 2226 Fiber: 5 Protein: 27