I like to think of this as a don’t-mess-with-the-classics recipe: linguiça, onion, garlic, and parsley. The not-so-secret ingredient? Straight-out-of-the-box stuffing mix.

Serves 3

  • 12 quahaugs
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ pound linguiça, minced
  • 1½ cups clam liquor (reserved water from cooking; see step 1)
  • 1 box store-bought stuffing mix
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (optional)

1. Steam the quahaugs in a large pot for about 55 minutes. As the quahaug meat slides out of the shell, the clam liquor will mix with the boiled water. Remove quahaugs and reserve. Strain the liquor through a sieve to remove leftover sand from the quahaugs and reserve 1½ cups.

2. On a large cutting board, mince the onion, garlic, and parsley. Heat a large sauté or frying pan over medium heat. Melt the butter. Add the onion and linguiça to the pan. Cook about 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion starts to caramelize and the linguiça browns. When the linguiça is almost done cooking, add the garlic and stir. Just before removing the pan from the heat, add the parsley so that it wilts.

3. In a medium pot, bring the reserved 1½ cups clam liquor to a boil. Add the stuffing mix to the clam liquor. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes and stir until the stuffing has a nice crumble. If the stuffing is too sticky, add additional panko breadcrumbs. Combine the stuffing with the linguiça, onion, and garlic mixture.

4. Remove the quahaug meat from the shells. Chop the meat and add to the stuffing mixture. Reserve 9 quahaug shells.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean the 9 empty quahaug shells by rinsing them in warm water. Apply cooking spray to the shells lightly so that the stuffing doesn’t stick to the shell.

6. Spoon approximately 1 cup stuffing mixture into each of the empty shells so that it creates a mounded surface. Place stuffed quahaug shells on a large pan and bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm as an appetizer or as part of a hearty seafood dinner.