Chorizo and Clams with Nonchalant Braised Kale and Soffritto

Chorizo and Clams with Nonchalant Braised Kale and Soffritto

This Chorizo and Clams post is kind of a cheat. That’s because by the time you’ve read the last word you won’t really have an exact recipe. The kind of recipe you could follow precisely and (hopefully) end up staring at a bowl of clams that look an awful lot like the one you see here. But you’re a good cook I know you are, so I’m sure you can deal with my little “cheat”.

It started this way.

Sunday mornings at my house are for the farmers market. Well, they used to be. The farmers market was one of those weekly things Ken and I did together. However, as my caregiving responsibilities have changed and grown over the past couple of years they’ve managed to creep into my market mornings. At first just little by little week to week. But lately, I just send Ken to the farmers market all on his own. It’s better for my pantry than skipping the trip altogether. 

This past Sunday Ken came home with clams. Perfect for a quick Sunday supper. Chorizo and Clams can be so simple. A splash of wine, a knob of butter, and herbs from the garden. Set the bowl next to a loaf of crusty bread and you’ve got dinner. It would be delicious, but it would not warrant a post.

Which means this post was never meant to be.

Until it was…

It started because I made a soffritto. If you don’t know, a soffritto is a culinary building block. A lot of my impromptu cooking starts with soffritto, though I make it a little differently each time. A tomato soffritto can be a five-hour process in Thomas Keller’s hands, or it can be almost as simple as a mirepoix. The soffrito for these clams was made with red bell pepper, onion, a lot of garlic (a whole bulb), rosemary, dried chili, and smoked paprika. It took me about an hour and it turned out very well. Suddenly my simple Chorizo and Clams farmers market dinner had the potential to be special. Special enough for a post.

This is where my post and recipe start to “cheat”.

Chorizo and Clams with Braised Kale and Soffritto

You see I didn’t follow a recipe when I started with the soffritto and I didn’t write down what I did. I could have recreated the steps from memory I suppose. I make a soffritto in a similar fashion quite often. But that might be considered cheating anyway. If you’re going to cheat – cheat big I say. So I cheated again with the kale. I braised it with olive oil, white wine, and rosemary. And guess what – I didn’t write it down.

So when you come to the recipe section of this post you may notice my cheat. I simply call for a cup of soffritto and a cup of well-chopped braised kale — as nonchalantly as if these were ingredients I’d expect you keep in your pantry every day anyway. GREG

Though there are a million variations, it’s all the same thing: Sofrito (Spanish), sofregit (Catalan), soffritto (Italian) or refogado (Portuguese).

Kale and Soffritto
Chorizo and Clams with Nonchalant Braised Kale and Soffritto

Chorizo and Clams with Kale and Soffritto 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4–6Source Inspired by David LentzPublished

Soffritto is a culinary building block often used in soups, stews, and sauces. Recipes can be found online and premade versions are available in some markets.

Chorizo and Clams with Kale and Soffritto


  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 ounce Mexican pork chorizo (uncured)
  • 1 cup soffritto (strained)
  • 1 cup braised Tuscan kale (well-chopped)
  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cup white wine
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 pound littleneck clams (scrubbed)
  • 2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 4–6 slice rustic bread (lightly toasted)
  • 4–6 lemon wedges


In a large heavy pot with a lid warm the oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it up as it cooks. Once the meat is opaque and cooked through stir in the soffritto, kale, and chickpeas.

Bring the temperature to high and pour in the wine and stock, using a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan as the liquid comes to a boil.

Once it begins to boil lower the heat to a simmer. Add the clams and cover the pot. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until the clams open, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the lid, add the vinegar, taste the broth and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with toasted bread slices and lemon wedges on the side.