1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup julienned celery
1 cup julienned fennel, fronds reserved and set aside.
1 cup julienned leeks
1 cup julienned shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
6-8 sprigs fresh basil, separated from stems and sliced thinly
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
12 oz hot Italian sausage (pork, chicken, plant-based will all do)
1 cup white wine
2 cups clam juice
2 cups vegetable broth
1lb pasta squid ink fettucine
30-40 top neck clams
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toasted baguette, for serving
- Saute the sausage until well browned and fully cooked and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the celery, fennel, leeks, shallots and garlic and cook on very low heat until they become tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water large enough to hold the pasta to a boil.
- Add the thyme, bay leaf and white wine, increase the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the clam juice and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the clams, cover the pot, and cook until all the clams have opened, about 10 minutes. Remove the clams with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook the pasta until about 2 minutes shy of recommended cooking time. Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the broth, fennel, etc., submerge in the liquid, and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Then add in the sun-dried tomatoes and sausage, stir, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add a serving of pasta and vegetables to each bowl, then top with clams. Pour over a healthy ladle of broth for each bowl. Sprinkle fennel fronds and basil over each bowl. Serve with the baguette for sopping up the broth.