The Algarve region of southern Portugal was the last part of the country to be under moorish occupation. Their cuisine (and language) shows the influence of their location on the coast, as well as of their northern african conquerors.
In a tin wash clams with cold water, so you clean them from any dirt they might have. After that cover them totally with sea water and leave them to rest for 4 to 5 hours, this will allow any sand and impurities to be expelled out.
Cut the bacon and the cured ham in small stripes and the sausage in thin slices. Fry them in a pan over low heat. Drain.
Remove the clams from the water. Place them in a boiler, cover with water, and boil 10 minutes. Reserving the water, take the clam meat out of the shells. Return clams to boiler, add wine, and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and slowly add the cornmeal, stirring to be sure it blends uniformly.
Return to heat, stirring occaisionally, until thickened.
Add the rest of the meat, then salt and pepper to taste,.
Serve hot, garnished with croutons or parsley if desired.