Steamed Clams With Sausage and Fennel (Vongole Con Salsiccia e Finocchio)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 by 1/3-inch strips
1 large fennel bulb with fronds, bulb cored, sliced; fronds chopped (for garnish)
1 lb spicy sausage, casings removed, sausages coarsely crumbled
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed in mortar with pestle
One 8-ounce bottle clam juice
4 dozen Manila clams (about 2 and 1/3 lbs), scrubbed
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Add bell pepper, sliced fennel, sausage, and fennel seeds, and saute until sausage is brown and vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
Add clam juice, and bring to a boil.
Add clams and oregano; reduce heat to medium-high, cover, and cook just until clams open, about 5 minutes.
Divide among 4 bowls, discarding any unopened clams.