- A fat pinch saffron (30 to 36 threads)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons EVOO
- 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only--halved lengthwise, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 1 small bulb fennel--quartered, cored and very thinly sliced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine, or dry vermouth
- 1 28 ounce can Italian DOP San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1 1/2 pounds Manila clams or cockles
- 1 pound large shrimp--peeld and deveined, with tails left on
- 8 - 10 calamari (squid), sliced 1 inch thick
- 1 pound bucatini or perciatelli pasta
- 1 pound cooked lobster or crabmeat
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tbsp.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a small pot, steep the saffron in the stock over medium while you make the sauce.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the leek, fennel, onion, carrot, celery, thyme, bay leaf, crushed red pepper and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup wine and simmer 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a bubble. Add the saffron stock and let the sauce simmer while you cook the seafood.
In a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the clams, shrimp, squid and the remaining garlic; season. Cover and cook until the clams open, shaking the pan occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes.
When the water comes to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine and the lobster to the seafood mixture; douse with the lemon juice. Toss the seafood and half the sauce into the pasta, adding reserved cooking water, as needed, if dry. Transfer the pasta to bowls. Top with a little more sauce and pass the remaining sauce at the table.