Steamed Clams with Tomatoes, Fennel and Italian Sausage
Gayle McLeod | June 6, 2015
A must for your summer entertaining repertoire. This impressive pot of deliciousness is simple to make and with just a little advance prep, easy enough to cook while your guests are relaxing or even for a weeknight meal.
1.5 kgs of small live clams, thoroughly scrubbed clean with a brush
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 links of Italian sausage, casings removed (we used spicy Italian, but mild would work just as well)
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into wedges
1 small leek, sliced (about 1 cup)
salt & pepper
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 500 ml container of Fresh Tomato & Basil Sauce (thawed)
1 baguette, cut in half lengthwise
1 garlic clove, peeled
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook the sausage in the dutch oven until browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Remove the cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and drain off all but 1 tbsp of the oil.
Add the fennel wedges to the pot and cook until the edges are browned and the fennel softens slightly. Add the leeks and season with a pinch of coarse salt and pepper. Once the leeks are soft, add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato sauce and sausage and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer then add the clams to the pot and give it a quick stir before covering with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow the clams to steam for 10 minutes. Discard all unopened clams.
Meanwhile, prepare the toast for serving. Brush the sliced baguette with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated grill or broil in the oven until toasted. Rub the baguette with the fresh garlic clove and cut into smaller pieces for serving.
Sprinkle the steamed clams with fresh parsley and serve with the garlic toast and lemon wedges.