Zuppa di Pesce

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Zuppa di Pesce, serves Four

Fish stock:

2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 grouper head, gills removed

1 gallon water

1 peeled carrot

3 washed stalks celery

1 onion chopped and split in two batches

1 bay leaf

1 tsp peppercorns

The stems from the parsley below

2 tsp salt


½ Cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped, 4 cloves whole

1 tsp red pepper flakes

½ bunch parsley leaves freshly chopped

1 cup red wine (something young and not sweet)

1 cup good quality crushed tomato

5 cups fish stock from above

1# shrimp peeled (save the shells)

20 clams

20 mussels

1# squid finely chopped

1# seasonal fresh fish cut into 8 pieces

Four large thick toasted slices of rustic bread

Start by preparing the fish stock: in a large stock pot lightly roast the shrimp heads and shells in the olive oil, about 1 minute, then add all the other ingredients and simmer for at least one and a half hour, strain and save warm.

In another large pot cook onions, garlic and olive oil until golden brown, add red pepper, parsley and wine, allow the wine to evaporate, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the fish stock, simmer 20 more minutes and start adding the seafood in order of cooking time, clams, squid, wait a couple of minutes and add the fish and shrimp, wait one minute and add the mussels. Stir gently, or not at all, you want to preserve the integrity of your seafood. As soon as the mussels open dinner is ready. Meanwhile you will have toasted the bread and grated the remaining four cloves of garlic on it, place the bread on four pasta bowls, serve some of the stew with a shallow spoon over every slice, trying to give everyone a fair amount of seafood and a lot of broth to be soaked by the garlic bread.

Place the pot with the remaining Zuppa in the middle of the table for your guests to enjoy.

You can serve the same wine you cooked with at dinner, and don’t forget soup spoons and empty bowls for the shells. The leftover stock can be frozen and used later in soups, pasta dishes, risottos, poaching fish and many other dishes.