- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 ea sliced thin fennel (reserved the tops for garnish)
- 2 tblsp kosher salt (ish)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper from your favorite pepper mill
- 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 sprigs oregano italian chopped
- 1 bunch parsley chopped
- ½ bottle of dry white wine (left over from a bottle before)
- 2 cans san manzano tomatoes (whole peeled)
- 1 bunch basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 18 or more clams
- 18 or more mussels
- 12 shrimp peeled
- 1 # of flaky white fish (cod, mullet, walleye, perch)
- some baby squid as optional i love
- 1 lemon juice and zest
In cold ice water wash all shellfish to remove any sand. Debeard the mussels and allow the clams to soak to expel any grit. Cut the fish into 2” cubes as even as you can so they cook as fast as the mussels.
In cold oil place garlic in a large pot and begin to heat together along with the red chili flakes. Once it starts to barley brown add the chopped onions and fennel and stir until soft. Add salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and let stick slightly to the bottom of the pan. Add white wine to lift the sticky goodness. Open cans of tomatoes and crush with your hands until chunky but good. Place the cans inside the pot and bring to a slow simmer and stir. Add all the chopped herbs and allow to come up to heat.
Once stew is simmering, add the washed clams first and allow the pot to come back to a simmer. Being careful to gently stir the clams and not bash them around. Once it has come back to a simmer. Add the shrimp and mussels. Allow to come back to a simmer. Add the fish and remove from heat and cover the pot.
Serve with a gremolata or toasted bread rubbed with garlic and finished with a strong olive oil. Garnish with the fennel fronds.