Italians know how to do hearty meals, and the fish stew is no exception. Zuppetta di pesce brings together fish, mussels, clams and scallops for a rich stew.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus extra to serve
- 2 400 g cans chopped tomatoes
- 300 g skinless ling or barramundi fillet, pin-boned, cut into 3-cm pieces
- 12 raw prawns, shelled, intestinal tract removed, tails left intact, shells reserved
- 8 scallops, roe removed
- 8 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
- 8 clams, rinsed
- grilled bread, to serve
Fish reduction (or use 750 ml fish stock)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 100 ml dry white whine
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 3-4 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 small piece capsicum
- salt, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. For the fish reduction, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the reserved prawn heads and shells and stir until fragrant and the shells have changed colour. Add the wine and simmer for 1 minute or until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the carrot, celery, spring onion, garlic and capsicum, stir to combine, then add about 1 litre of water, or enough to cover. Season with a little salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer gently for 1 hour, removing any foam that comes to the top during cooking. Strain through a sieve, discard the solids and set the reduction aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and parsley and stir for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes, fish reduction (or stock) and 500 ml (2 cups) water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened. Add the fish and prawns and cook for 1 minute, then add the remaining seafood, cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice or until the mussels and clams have opened and seafood is just cooked through. Remove from the heat. Ladle the seafood stew into bowls and serve with plenty of grilled bread.
3. For the pasta with leftover stew, simply boil some short pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, drain and toss through the leftover stew (or even just the liquid). Serve with freshly chopped parsley and freshly grated lemon zest.
Silvia Colloca shares her Italian family secrets in the brand-new second-season of Cook like an Italian.