Third entrée of the night. A beautiful clam capellini, in a white wine and fennel sauce. Clams, live. Boiled in the same broth used to poach the preceding prawns. Adding layers of flavour to the broth, which would only add more flavour to the sauce. Boil until the clams open, then set aside.
Hot pan and olive oil, to which I quickly added finely chopped garlic and onion. Fennel goes in next. I don't have much experience with fennel, but it was so fresh that I had to try. Finely sliced lengthwise, so that you get fine strands of fennel. Add in white wine and the shrimp/clam broth and simmer. What I didn't expect was the fennel taking so long to cook down and soften in texture, but it happened.
As I was telling my friend, the key was timing. Capellini cooks quite quickly, but you have to time so that it cooks concurrently with the sauce. Once finished, mix in the noodles directly into your sauce, add the clams to heat, and serve immediately. Noodles must be al dente. Must be, you don't understand how crucial this is. If noodles are overcooked, then there's no point in eating, period.
Worked out well. When I cut the fennel, it had this intense licorice aroma, which didn't show as prominently once cooked. Delicious.