Recipes Main Courses Seafood Clams with White Beans, Fennel and Broccoli Rabe

Clams with White Beans, Fennel and Broccoli Rabe

Clams with White Beans, Fennel and Broccoli Rabe is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Tender, sweet Manila clams take only minutes to cook. Here, they’re augmented by fresh fennel, saffron and red pepper flakes for a sophisticated dish. Serve with crusty bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fennel bulb, a few fronds reserved and minced for garnish 
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds 
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
  • 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine  
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) cannellini beans, drained, juices reserved 
  • 1 bottle (8 fl. oz.) clam juice 
  • Large pinch of saffron threads 
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 small bunch broccoli rabe or Chinese broccoli, chopped 
  • 2 lb. Manila clams, rinsed 
  • Coarse kosher salt, to taste (optional) 

Directions:

Cut the fennel bulb lengthwise into quarters and then slice the quarters crosswise. In a mortar or spice mill, coarsely grind the fennel seeds.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the fennel bulb, fennel seeds, onion and red pepper flakes, and sauté until the fennel and onion start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until it evaporates, about 1 minute. Add the drained beans, clam juice, saffron and a generous amount of black pepper, and simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and simmer until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the clams. Stir in the reserved juices from the beans if the mixture is dry. Cover and boil until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt if needed. Discard any clams that failed to open.

Divide the clam mixture between 2 warmed deep bowls. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fennel fronds and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Quick Tips: The recipe can be easily doubled, but use a large Dutch oven instead of a fry pan to accommodate the large quantity of clams. They need a little expanding room in order to steam properly.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful flavour, hearty meal We made this for a weeknight supper, as it's quick and easy to prepare. The saffron and cannellini beans give the dish a fantastic depth of flavour and richness to the sauce. We served it with toasted baguette slices to mop up the juices - mmmmm. It's a very generous recipe for two people, so bring your appetites. My husband mistakenly bought kale instead of rapini, but it was still great. Can't wait to try it again with the rapini. We are in the Cape, so used littlenecks rather than manilla clams. I extracted each clam as it popped open and put them right into the serving dish while waiting for the others to open - about 5 minutes overall for the clams.
Date published: 2012-07-31
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