Clams with Fennel & Chorizo

For as much as we love to cook, seafood is one of the types of food that we don’t cook a lot of at home. It’s sort of an odd observation because we LOVE seafood. Calli will host an annual lobster dinner every summer for her birthday, but if we aren’t splurging on lobsters and want something special, we usually go with clams. We love a good clams and linguini situation, but to mix things up and add a little something unexpected we have chosen to make this recipe for clams with fennel and chorizo. What we love about this dish is the mix of flavors- you get some smoke and spice from the chorizo, that sort of indescribable fresh licorice (ish) taste from the fennel, and of course the briny salty flavor from the clams. We have used littleneck clams for this recipe, but your favorite variety will work great in this dish.

Clams with Fennel & Chorizo

  • Servings: 2
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  We love the mix of flavors the chorizo and fennel add to fresh clams. We love this recipe for a nice summer dinner with lots of crusty bread to soak up all the sauce at the bottom of the bowl.


  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed clean with a brush and rinsed under water
  • 8 oz chorizo
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large bulb fennel, stem removed and thinly sliced (reserve the fronds for garnish)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup seafood or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put the clams into a large bowl with ice water. Let the clams sit in the ice water for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Half way into the clams soaking, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and chorizo to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the chorizo is starting to crisp up and the oil in the pan is starting to turn the color of the chorizo. Add the fennel and onion to the pan, cooking for another 3-4 minutes, or until they both have started to soften. Add the garlic and red chili flakes, cooking another 2 minutes or so, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the white wine and stock to the pan. Stir everything well to combine. Drain the clams from the ice water (rinsing again if necessary to make sure they are free from dirt) and add the clams to the pan. Cover the clams and cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the clams have opened up. Toss everything gently with a ladle so that the clams get some of the fennel and chorizo broth in the shells.
  4. Divide the clams and broth amongst two large bowls. Top with fennel fronds if desired and serve with crusty bread for dipping.


Summer means it is time for seafood and there is no better way to get a seafood fix than making cioppino. Cioppino is a seafood stew that originates in San Francisco- it has an Italian flavored tomato broth and can be made with just about any seafood you like. We like to go to the grocery store and see what is fresh and looks the best and plan our meal from there. For this version we used shrimp, cod, mussels and clams. You can use any type of fish (halibut, sea bass, even salmon) and other seafood ingredients like scallops, crab, or langoustines. It’s a light and filling summer dinner best served with a thick slice of sour dough bread.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 12 clams
  • 12 mussels
  • 12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb white fish – halibut, sea bass, or cod- cut into large, bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil, for garnish


  1. Scrub the clams and mussels with a food brush to clean off any excess dirt or sea particles. Remove the beards from any mussels. Soak the clams and mussels in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. While the seafood is soaking, heat a large Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter, swirling until melted. Add the garlic, white onion, and chili flakes to the pot. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.
  3. Add the white wine to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the wine reduce by half. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Slice the lemon in half and add it to the sauce. Cover the pot and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. After the 30 minutes has passed, remove the lemon from the sauce, carefully squeezing out any extra lemon juice, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the clams to the pot, increase to medium-high heat, and cover to cook for 5-7 minutes. If you are using larger clams like little necks, go the full 7 minutes.
  5. While the clams are cooking, season the shrimp and fish with salt and pepper. After the 7 minutes has passed, add the mussels, fish, and shrimp to the pot. Do not stir, just layer everything in that order, and cover to cook for another 5-6 minutes. The dish is done when most of the clams and mussels are open and the fish is opaque and cooked through. When the fish is cooked through, give everything a gentle stir so that the shrimp and fish absorb some of the sauce.
  6. Serve each serving of cioppino with a few pieces of each type of fish and seafood and a generous helping of the sauce. Garnish with some fresh basil and serve with a slice of crusty sour dough toast.