excellent-quality ricotta. Before using it, drain it in a cheesecloth-lined colander to remove some of the excess moisture; Requeijão is a bit drier than ricotta. Be careful of Requeijão cremoso, if you see it—it’s as soft as yogurt and isn’t suited for the recipes in this book.
CLAMS amêijoas (uh-may-zhoo-izh) Clams are the great codependent ingredient of Portuguese cuisine. They’re found in classic dishes that pair them up with pork, such as the famous Alentejan-Style Pork with Clams and the equally well-known Clams in a Cataplana. They’re also part of açorda de marisco, a shell sh and bread soup studded with mussels, shrimp, and sometimes scallops, which are prohibitively expensive in Portugal. The most commonly eaten clams in the country are in the family that includes the Carpet Shell and Venus varieties. Small, delicate, and deliciously sweet, they also have a unique characteristic: they have two necks! Excellent substitutes are cockles, Manila clams (often marketed as Japanese cockles), and butter clams. But make sure to buy the smallest you can—about 1½ inches across. In a pinch, tiny East Coast littlenecks will do, but they’ll have to be served the moment they pop open, or they’ll quickly turn to rubber.