Cat-a-what? Yes, that's right, a cataplana is an oval metal pan, typically make of hammered copper, originating in Portugal. It resembles a giant clam shell.
A cataplana is a great vessel for cooking a variety of meals ranging from seafood to poultry to meats and sausages. I like to use my cataplana for clams and mussels because it creates steam heat that builds up and beautifully opens those little treasures.
When making a sauce, I prepare it in a separate pan and then pour it over the content of the cataplana to infuse flavor. The cataplana is used on top of the stove, in spite of its rounded shape. When ready to serve, I bring the cataplana straight to the table. It is a beautiful piece of art from which to serve guests.