Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and ham and fry, stirring frequently, until the fat is rendered and the meat is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook, covered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in the red pepper flakes, paprika, tomatoes, wine and clam juice. Bring to a boil, add the parsley, bay leaves and basil. Simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the clams to the pot, and cook, covered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the shells have opened. Thicker shelled clams will take longer. Discard any clams that don't open. Stir the pot will to distribute the clam juices. Taste for salt, pepper and Tabasco.
Serve the clams in a shallow soup bowls with plenty of sauce and soup spoons, as well as forks.
|... an excerpt of:
"Bruce Aidells' Complete Sausage Book " from (Ten Speed Press)
click on the cover to see it at Amazon.com