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Italian seafood stew recipe

Italian seafood stew recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Stew and casserole

Any fish or shellfish is delicious in this Italian fisherman's stew – make the bubbling tomato mixture and add whatever is tasty and fresh from the sea. Serve with triangles of polenta grilled at the last minute.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized leek, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ medium bulb of fennel, diced
  • 360 ml (12 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) fish stock
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, 400 g
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • ¼ tsp dried herbes de Provence
  • 1 medium-sized courgette, sliced
  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
  • 55 g (2 oz) peas
  • 85 g (3 oz) spinach leaves
  • 200 g (7 oz) skinless cod fillet, cut into chunks
  • 400 g (14 oz) peeled or shelled mixed shellfish, such as raw king prawns, scallops and mussels
  • salt and pepper
  • For the polenta
  • 225 g (8 oz) instant polenta
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the leek and onion, and cook for 2 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the garlic, pepper and fennel and cook for a further 5–10 minutes or until softened.
  2. Add the wine, stock and tomatoes with their juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Stir in the tomato purée, herbes de Provence and courgette, and continue simmering for 10 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture becomes too thick.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the polenta according to the packet instructions until it is thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the polenta into a lightly oiled 18 x 28 cm (7 x 11 in) shallow tin. Leave until cool and firm, then cut the polenta into triangles. Preheat the grill to high.
  4. Stir the parsley, peas, chard or spinach, fish and shellfish into the tomato mixture. Cover and simmer gently over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes or until all the seafood is just cooked.
  5. Lightly brush the polenta triangles with the oil and grill until lightly browned. Serve the fish stew in bowls with the polenta triangles.

Some more ideas

For an Italian clam stew with asparagus, use 3 medium onions, chopped, and omit the leek and green pepper. In step 2, omit the stock. Replace the seafood with 1 kg (2¼ lb) clams in their shells. Add them to the mixture, cover and bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for about 2 minutes. Add 125 g (4½ oz) asparagus spears, cut into bite-sized pieces, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until all the clams have opened (discard any that remain shut) and the asparagus is just tender. Serve the stew with the polenta triangles.

Plus points

Cod provides excellent quantities of iodine. Fish is one of the most reliable sources of this essential mineral because of the consistent iodine content of sea water. Other foods depend on the iodine in soil, which can vary. * Polenta, which is finely milled corn or maize meal, is a good gluten-free source of starchy carbohydrate. * You can use either fresh or frozen peas in this recipe. The nutritional content of frozen peas is very similar to that of fresh as long as they are not overcooked.

Each serving provides

Excellent source of copper, niacin, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C. Good source of folate, iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc. Useful source of calcium.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (2)

Used different ingredients.Added a small bit of Italian Sausage and also some paprika.-01 Sep 2009

Very flavorsome. You can added extra vegetables. I had to add extra wine and water as it cooked down very quickly even on low-01 Sep 2009

Seafood & Fennel Cioppino

1. In a large pot, heat 3 tbsp. oil over medium. Add the sliced fennel, the onion, and garlic season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the wine. Cook over medium-high heat until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, clam juice, and crushed red pepper. Cook, crushing the tomatoes with a spoon, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes season generously.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the mussels and fish. Simmer, gently stirring occasionally, until the fish is flaky and the mussels open, about 6 minutes. (Discard any mussels that don’t open.)

4. Divide the cioppino among shallow bowls. Drizzle with the remaining 4 tbsp. oil. Top with the parsley and fennel fronds.

  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, (2 smashed, 2 minced)
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded, or small cherrystone clams
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces squid, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ⅓ cup red-wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 pounds firm white-fleshed fish fillet, such as halibut, skinned and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring clam juice and smashed garlic to a simmer in a large pot. Add mussels (or clams) and cook, covered, until open, 3 to 5 minutes. Discard garlic remove mussels from the pot, discarding any that did not open. Using a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth, strain broth into a bowl set aside. Wipe out the pot.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and heat over medium-low heat. Add onion and minced garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Increase heat to high add squid and cook, stirring, until the squid turns opaque, about 1 minute. Add wine and 1/3 cup vinegar cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add tomatoes and the reserved mussel broth. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the squid is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Just before serving, add fish and shrimp to the simmering stew and cook, covered, just until the fish is opaque in the center, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved mussels and heat through, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove solids to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Stir 3 tablespoons parsley, breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens to the consistency of heavy cream, 1 to 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning with pepper and vinegar. Return the solids to the sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate mussels and stew separately for up to 1 day.


In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté the carrot, onion, celery, leek, fennel, and tomatoes in 1/2 cup olive oil. Add the red pepper and oregano.

Add the white wine and reduce to half over medium heat. Add the clam juice and cook over medium to low heat for 15 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large pot over low heat, sauté the garlic in 1/2 cup olive oil for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the fish and seafood and sauté for 2 minutes until golden brown on each side. Add the sauce and beans, and cook for about 15 minutes over low heat. Add extra clam juice if the soup seems too dense. Garnish with basil and serve.


  • 2 quarts water
  • One 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) and their liquid
  • 1½ cups dry white wine
  • 2 small leeks, white parts only, trimmed, cleaned and cut into 3-inch lengths (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, trimmed and sliced thick
  • 1 large onion, cut into thick slices
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Zest of half a lemon, removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 small leeks, white parts only, trimmed, cleaned and sliced ½-inch (about 2 cups)
  • 2 leeks, white and light green part only
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 4 medium calamari (about 1¼ pounds), cleaned, tentacles left whole, bodies cut crosswise into ½-inch rings
  • 18 medium sea scallops (about ½ pound)
  • 8 ounces fresh firm-textured fish fillets, such as salmon, snapper or swordfish, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about ½ pound)
  • 24 mussels, preferably cultivated, cleaned
  • 2 cups Braised Cannellini Beans (p. XXX), optional
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Garlic Bread or crusty Italian bread (see pg. 000)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Italian Seafood Soup With Gremolata

We are just three weeks into 2017 and so far the new year has been pretty eventful for me. First I injured my left knee, so I have been hobbling around the house the past couple of weeks, and then we had twenty-four people over at our home for a wonderful wine tasting dinner hosted by the Angelini family from Spello, Italy last Wednesday. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I hurt my knee doing yoga, but that is actually what happened. I will never think of the warrior pose the same way again! I couldn’t get an appointment with a specialist until next Thursday, and of course, as the date now approaches, my knee feels much better. Unfortunately, I have had to spend much of the past couple of weeks on the couch resting with my knee elevated, so my kitchen adventures have been severely curtailed of late! Our wine tasting dinner turned out great, despite my injury, and I am pleased to say that everyone had a wonderful time eating Umbrian specialties and tasting some of the best wines that Italy has to offer. (Photos and blog post coming soon!)

When I was young, my Mother always told me that whatever happened on New Year’s Day set the theme for the rest of the year. She would make us clean our rooms and demand that all of our homework was finished before we could celebrate the arrival of the new year. This is one tradition that I have carried with me throughout the years, and on New Year’s Day every year, I find myself cleaning and organizing to ensure I begin the new year with an uncluttered home. This year, my daughter and two of my grandkids were here with us for New Years, and I wanted to celebrate it by serving something delicious yet healthy.

One of my intentions for 2017 is to eat more plant-based meals with an occasional seafood meal thrown in, so what better way to start the year? My whole family loves seafood, so I decided to throw together this hearty seafood soup for our holiday meal. The trick to this dish is to first cook the squid long and slow which creates a very tender texture and adds lots of flavor to the soup. I used squid, mussels, clams, shrimp, and grouper to make my soup, and threw in two lobster tails just to create an extra special holiday dish. Any firm-fleshed fish such as halibut or cod could be used in place of the grouper if you prefer. What truly makes this stew sing is the gremolata topping served on top, so I encourage you not to exclude that step! Gremolata is simply a combination of fresh parsley, lemon peel, and garlic that is chopped together and used as a topping for hearty braised meats and stews. Although it sounds like a simple step, the combination of these three common Italian ingredients brightens any dish they top. Do serve with lots of crusty Italian bread as you’ll want to sop up all the juices.

How to make Cioppino

Begin by sauteing the fennel and onion in a large pot in some oil over medium heat. Once they’re soft, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes.

Next, you’ll stir in the tomatoes, seafood stock, wine, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat once it begins to boil and let the base simmer for 30 minutes.

Afterward, add in the seafood (without stirring) and let the mixture come up to a simmer again. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid until the mussels have opened. Spoon the finished cioppino into a bowl, top with fresh parsley, and enjoy with crostini on the side.


Delicious - and so easy for a cold-weather dinner party because you can prep a bunch beforehand, then finish the seafood right before you're ready to eat. Feels special enough for a dinner party, but also light enough that if you are also having a dessert (a friend brought a lemon tart), you won't be overwhelmed. I would recommend making the full base recipe even if you're halving the seafood for a smaller number of people. If you think it seems like a lot, the base freezes well, but I felt like even when halving the seafood for three people, you still need a fair amount of liquid to cook it in. Also, BE CAREFUL with the timing. The timing the recipe provides isn't foolproof for the seafood, you have to use your own judgement. I didn't use squid, so I don't know about that, but when I had both clams and mussels, the clams had quite a heavy shell and took a lot longer than they were supposed to. I ended up pulling them out, and trying to steam them open separately. Shrimp also only take like 3 minutes and can easily get overcooked. I also highly recommend including the toasts. I did mine like garlic bread, melting butter with minced garlic, spreading it over big slices of bread, popping it under the broiler for a minute and then topping with fresh parsley and lemon zest.

This is so good!! Make it! I made the base in the morning and left it on super low on the stove all day and added Cod, shrimp and the mussels right before we ate it.

Love this recipe. It has become my Christmas Eve dish and special occasions. I add scallops and ditch the clams. Recommend it to anyone wanting a wholesome meal to entertain multiple hungrey guests. Best if you make the base the day before IMHO.

Call it whatever you want -- this is delicious. We had to make a few changes because we couldn't find everything the recipe calls for and it was still great. We couldn't find squid or mussels and didn't have wine. We'll definitely serve this again.

This is without a doubt the best recipie ever!! I used extra garlic and used calamari, clams , shrimp, and scallops instead of the Mussels and white fish. Made it for. Christmas Eve Dinner! Was amazing! Entire family loved it!!

Nothing short of remarkable! I doubled the recipe, following exactly as described using squid, shrimp, clams, mussels and haddock. This Cioppino has become an instant classic in this household! Many thanks for this wonderful recipe.

I LOVE this recipe. I've made it several times now and take three days to do it: first stock, then I make the red base, then day three is eating day when I add the seafood. Do not skip the toast! Really brings everything together nicely.

Great recipe! Lots of options with seafood. I substituted monk fish for squid. skipped the mussels. Stuck with strip and clams. very tasty. Definitely adding this to the rotation!

Great, quick recipe with such a nice flavor. We only used shrimp and tilapia, because we didn't have anything else, and it was soooo good. We also added about four sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped, and more onion, no fennel. It's very adaptable. I ate it over quinoa and my husband it over pasta. No need for bread.

Fantastic flavor and aromas. I used scallops, large shrimp, little neck clams and swordfish. Next time I will add a bit more garlic, sliced fennel, and squid. I made this for a dinner with friends and they loved it.

Made it tonight to rave reviews from my husband and daughter. I boiled the shrimp shells to make stock (boiled with 8 0z. additional clam juice, water, fresh thyme, parseley, garlic clove, white pepper, salt, and fennel leaves). Yielded 3 1/2 cups stock which I used and added the 8 oz. clam juice called for in the recipe. Left out the celery because I didn’t have any. Substituted one large shallot for the onion. Left out the clams. Used 3/4 lb. squid, 3/4 lb. fresh cod, 1 lb. shrimp. Otherwise followed recipe

This thing is awesome. I bought this combination frozen seafood from Costco which included shrimp, scallops, muscles, and squid. I doubled the ingredients required. I added butter TO THE SOUP. Lastly, I added cooked mini shell pasta, thus no need for a baguette. AWESOME!

I gave this recipe 3 forks instead of 4 because of the extensive preparation required. I’m an experienced cook and the prep time for this recipe was quite long. Yes you can make the base ahead of time, but the prepping of all the fish the day of serving requires a fair amount of time. The end result is wonderful and the gremolata toasts delicious. Just be aware of the time commitment.

Not a fan of ham, I decided to go with a "Seven Fishes" dinner as a nod to my husband's Italian heritage for Christmas Eve and this dish hit it out of the park. The broth has such depth of flavor and the assortment of fish is just fun to eat. Loved the gremolada toast -- something so simple but really adds a lot to the dish. I would put it on anything. There was no squid available in our area (Colorado) but I was able to Icelandic cod that is flown in daily and it was to die for. Clams aren't normally my favorite but excellent with this dish. I will make this an annual tradition. Excellent dish!

This came out incredible. almost like my grandmother's! I'll definitely make it again.

How to Make It

Let scallops, salmon, and fish come to room temperature. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add scallops cook until they develop a golden-brown crust on one side, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and set aside.

Add wine, 1/2 cup water, and clams to pan. Cover, increase heat to high, and cook until clams open, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer clams to a large bowl (discard any unopened clams). Add mussels to pan cover and cook until they open, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove mussels set aside. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl set aside.

Add reserved oil from anchovies to pan over medium-high. Add anchovies cook until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in fennel cook until tender, 5 minutes. Add garlic and orange zest cook 1 minute. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, tomatoes, and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to medium simmer, uncovered, until sauce has thickened slightly, 12 to 15 minutes.

Nestle fish and shrimp into broth. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until seafood is opaque, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mussels, clams, and scallops, cooked sides up. Heat until warmed through. Top with reserved fennel fronds.

Cioppino or Zuppa Di Pesce (Italian Fish and Seafood Stew)

  • Author: Roberto
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Stew, Soup
  • Cuisine: Italian


For the Salsa Di Pomodoro (Tomato Sauce)

  • 3 Tbs EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/4 of a medium size Yellow Onion chopped
  • 1 Tbs Minced Garlic
  • 3 cups of San Marzano D.O.P. Plums Tomatoes ( You can substitute 24oz (3 cups) Italian Organic Strained Tomatoes for faster cooking)
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • 10 fresh Basil Leaves julienned

For the Stew

  • 8-10 Tbs EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) divided
  • 4 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Chili Pepper
  • 20 Clams
  • 20 Mussels
  • 2 cup Dry White Wine divided
  • 16 Jumbo Shrimp
  • 4 Langostinos
  • 12 Scallops
  • 2 cup Calamari/Squid
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 20 Cherry or Grape Tomatoes halved
  • 4 Tbs finely chopped Italian Parsley
  • 2 fillets (14 oz) divided into 4 pieces of Mahi-Mahi or any white fish you prefer
  • 1 1/2 cups Fish Stock or hot water
  • 4-8 slices of toasted rustic bread for dipping


Start by preparing the Salsa Di Pomodoro (Tomato Sauce)

  1. Crush Tomatoes by hand in a bowl for a chunkier sauce or blend in food processor for a more smooth texture (depending on your preference)
  2. In medium saucepan add EVOO and heat over medium heat until oil is warm
  3. Add Onion, sauté 2-3 minutes until softened and lightly golden
  4. Add Garlic, sauté 1-2 minutes
  5. Add Tomatoes
  6. Add Salt, Pepper, cook for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally or until sauce is bubbling and is thickened and water is absorbed
  7. Turn off heat and stir in Basil for about 1 minute

For the Stew

  1. In a large pot add 4-5 Tbs EVOO and heat over medium heat
  2. When oil is warm add Garlic, sauté 1 minute
  3. Add Crushed Red Chili Pepper, sauté 1 minute
  4. In sequence add Clams and Mussels, cook until they start to open
  5. Add in 1 cup of the White Wine and cook until evaporated
  6. Remove Clams and Mussels and set aside
  7. In the same pot add 4-5 Tbs EVOO to the juice leftover from Clams and Mussels
  8. Add Shrimp, Langostinos, Scallops, Calamari, and a pinch of Salt
  9. Turn heat up to med/high and stir for about 1 minute
  10. Blush with the remainder of White Wine
  11. Add Tomatoes and Salsa Di Pomodoro (Tomato Sauce) that was made in the beginning
  12. Add Parsley, cook 2-3 minutes reducing the heat to medium
  13. Add fillet of fish divided into 4 pieces
  14. Add Clams and Mussels back to pot
  15. Add Fish Stock or hot water and cook about 4 minutes or until fillet of fish is cooked all the way through and flaky in texture
  16. Taste and add more Salt if desired
  17. Add extra Parsley of desired and serve with Crostini Bread


To save time you can substitute the recipe for the Salsa Di Pomodoro with store bought Tomato Sauce (about 3 cups), but please note it will not be as flavorful. To get the most authentic flavor from this stew, we recommend preparing the Tomato Sauce from scratch as directed above.