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Clam Pan Roast with Sausage and Fennel


Many of the seafood stews of the world -- bouillabaisse, cioppino, and caldeirada de peixe (from Portugal), among others -- share a common ingredient: fennel, which lends an anise-like taste. Essentially a creamy stew, the shellfish pan roast is most famously made with oysters, but clams are also traditional and often appear in combination with sausage; we include two types, sweet Italian and kielbasa. Pernod and tarragon add more anise flavor. This recipe appears in our cookbook "Martha Stewart's Vegetables" (Clarkson Potter).

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Photography: NGOC MINH NGO

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 1996


  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 pound kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 12 small red potatoes, halved
  • 3 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 small leek, cut into 1/4-inch rounds and rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur
  • 1 1/2 cups bottled unsalted clam juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 2 large tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves


  1. Cook garlic and Italian sausage in a deep straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon, until sausage is no longer pink, about 5 minutes; transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Cook kielbasa, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Add to bowl.

  2. Arrange potatoes in skillet, cut-side down; cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip potatoes; cook until just tender, about 5 minutes more. Scatter fennel over potatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, until fennel is tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add leek, Pernod, and clam juice. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek is tender, about 5 minutes. Return sausage mixture to pan; stir to combine. Add clams, cover, and cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook, covered, until clams open, about 8 minutes.

  4. Discard any unopened clams and remove pan from heat. Stir in tarragon and serve.

Cook's Notes

To clean leeks, slice, then soak them in a bowl of water, swishing to remove as much grit as possible. Discard the water, then repeat until no grit remains.

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