Published by Workman
There’s nothing more dazzling than a shellfish stew, and this one, a festive combination of clams, mussels, shrimp, and scallops, leads the way. I add fennel and fresh tarragon to flavor the tomato sauce, and a small amount of Pernod to enhance the flavor further. Serve the stew in bowls with garlic-rubbed peasant bread toasts, a rich red Côtes de Provence, and a marvelous cheese selection to follow.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
One Pot MealYes
OccasionFormal Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, juicy, spiced, winey
Type of Dishfish soup
- 12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 12 mussels, scrubbed (and debearded if necessary)
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 onions, halved lengthwise and slivered
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and slivered
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 can (28 ounces) peeled Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups canned tomato sauce
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
- ¼ cup Pernod
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 12 sea scallops
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves, or 2 teaspoons crushed dried tarragon
- ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 6 large slices peasant bread, toasted, brushed with oil and rubbed with garlic, for serving
Place the clams and mussels in a large bowl of water. Stir in the cornmeal and soak for 1 hour to remove any sand. Drain the shellfish, rinse well, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, fennel, garlic, and red pepper flakes, cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 15 minutes.
Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a food processor or blender, and process until pureed.
Add the pureed tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, clam juice, and Pernod to the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, season with salt and pepper, and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
Add the reserved clams and mussels, cover the pot, and cook until they begin to open, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the shrimp and scallops, and cook, uncovered, until they are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tarragon and, ¼ cup of the parsley. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the stew to a serving bowl, discarding any clams or mussels that have not opened, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of the parsley. Serve with the toasted peasant bread.
2008 Sheila Lukins