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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.