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Littlenecks in Fennel Broth - A simple and delicious seafood appetizer. The fennel in this broth adds unexpected flavor that goes perfectly with the seafood!

This is the story about a man and a car.

And…it’s a love story.

A few weeks ago, my husband Jack and I were invited by Chevy as part of their Drive the District program to participate in a driving and dining tour of Cape Cod. It was a fun day where we, and some other food bloggers from the Boston area, had the chance to test drive some Chevy Camaros around the gorgeous scenic roads of Cape Cod. Along the way, we were also treated to breakfast and lunch (where we had a dish that inspired today’s recipe for Littlenecks in Fennel Broth) at some popular eating spots on the Cape!

Littlenecks in Fennel Broth - A simple and delicious seafood appetizer. The fennel in this broth adds unexpected flavor that goes perfectly with the seafood!

About a week before our Cruise the Cape drive, our hosts asked us if either Jack or I knew how to drive a car with a manual transmission because they were thinking about bringing some Corvettes along with the Camaros! Jack drove a stick for most of his life – and I have to say, I’ve never seen such a look of excitement on his face when he learned that he might have a chance to drive a Corvette!  Here we are at the start of our day:

Littlenecks in Fennel Broth - A Family Feast

Now – I do want to point out here that this event was really designed to get us to experience driving a Camaro (which were also very nice cars!) – but that sweet 7-speed 2014 Corvette Stingray we drove really stole the show! Weeks later, Jack is still talking about THAT.CAR. (As a passenger in THAT.CAR. I can also say that it was a very, very nice ride!) And – after being a staunch Mustang fan for most of his life, Jack’s dream car to own ‘someday’ is now his new love: a Corvette!

Here are a few more photos from our fun day: Littlenecks in Fennel Broth - A Family Feast

Now – about this recipe for Little Necks in Fennel Broth! We had a delicious lunch that day at The Brewster Fish House including some steamed Wellfleet littlenecks that were prepared and served in a super flavorful broth of white wine, garlic and fresh fennel.

That dish was another thing from our drive on the Cape that we’ve been talking about ever since – and it inspired our recipe today. These littlenecks are a delicious appetizer that cooks up in a matter of minutes – and the fennel added to the broth adds unexpected and fantastic flavor!

Littlenecks in Fennel Broth - A simple and delicious seafood appetizer. The fennel in this broth adds unexpected flavor that goes perfectly with the seafood!

Disclosure: We were under no obligation to write a blog post about our Chevy Drive the District experience and we were not compensated for this post.

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Littlenecks in Fennel Broth - A Family Feast

Littlenecks in Fennel Broth

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fennel (from green tops and white bottoms)
  • Fennel fronds for garnish
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups clam juice (clam juice typically comes in 8-ounce bottles)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dozen littlenecks, rinsed and cleaned of all sand or sediment


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium and add shallots and garlic. Cook one minute.
  2. Add fennel and white wine, bring to medium high and cook for another two minutes to reduce the wine a bit.
  3. Add clam juice and pepper and cover. Bring to a high simmer and cook for five minutes.
  4. Add cleaned little necks and cover (best if the cover is see through so you can watch the clams pop open) cook over high simmer to a low boil for five minutes. You will see the clams pop open one by one. Once they all pop open (no more than five minutes), with tongs, remove to serving dishes. Discard any clams that did not pop open. Spoon broth and cooked fennel over clams, being careful not to spoon any sediment from the bottom of the pan as some sand will settle there that didn’t get cleaned off.
  5. Sprinkle the servings with the fennel fronds.

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  • Ashley wrote:

    These photos are beautiful!!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Ashley!

  • Irma wrote:

    We’ll be leaving for the Cape in a couple of days from near Niagara Falls , Canada. Our annual family vacation for the last 15 years, now includes grandchildren. We usually go in July, when the blue hydrangea is in full bloom, and rent a cottage by the beach. But we always make sure we get in some local clam chowder,lobster rolls and fish and chips. Our family isn’t very adventurous in the seafood dept. but this recipe sounds delicious!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Irma! Sounds like a great family tradition! (Our blue hydrangeas never bloomed this year – we’ve been told it was because of the very cold winter we had this past year…) I hope you have a great family vacation!

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