This recipe takes some time but it is definitely worth it.  If you are looking for a quicker version, take a look at my Mediterranean Fish Stew.  But the broths don’t compare — there is a wonderful richness from the slow cooking of the broth in the Tuscan Seafood Stew.

There are many steps to cooking the broth in this recipe– cooking the vegetables and squid in olive oil and some spices, adding 2 cups of wine and cooking until the wine is evaporated, then adding the tomato puree and cooking for another 40 minutes until very thick.  Finally you add the clam broth and water as well as the shellfish.  Only in the last two minutes do you add the fish.

Feel free to make this stew your own by increasing the seafood you love and omitting anything you don’t like.  We were a bit light on squid because the store was nearly out.

I toasted a garlic ciabatta for dipping.  Bread is A MUST!!  The broth was so flavorful and all of the seafood was perfectly cooked.  This was a great meal for a stormy Saturday night!


Tuscan Seafood Stew
Food & Wine

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Sicilian)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2 pounds cleaned squid—bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings, tentacles halved
2 cups dry white wine
One 28-ounce can tomato puree
2 lemons—zest of one peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler, zest of the other finely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
1 cup bottled clam broth
12 ounces mussels, scrubbed
12 ounces littleneck clams, scrubbed
12 ounces shelled and deveined large shrimp
12 ounces skinless striped bass fillet, cut into 2-by-1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a very large, enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat the 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add the fennel, celery, onion, oregano and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Add the squid and cook over moderately low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the wine and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Cook until evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and strips of lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 40 minutes.
Add the water and clam broth and bring to a boil. Remove and discard the lemon zest. Season the broth with salt and pepper. Add the mussels, clams and shrimp, cover and cook until most of the shells have opened, about 5 minutes. Add the striped bass and cook until opaque, about 2 minutes longer.
In a small bowl, combine the parsley with the grated lemon zest. Spoon the stew into deep bowls and sprinkle with the gremolata. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Make Ahead
The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Reheat before proceeding.

Serve With
Garlic-rubbed toasts.

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