Fish stews can be found all over Italy, this is hardly surprising considering 18 of Italy’s 20 regions have a coastline. One of the best places for fish stews is Venice, where they are very similar to the classical French fish stews but using chilli and Italian seasonings.
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 pinches dry chilli
12 mussels, cleaned and checked
1 seabass fillet, skin removed and cut into three
1 small halibut fillet, skin removed and cut into three
1 small monkfish fillet, cut into three
100g raw tiger prawns
1 squid, cleaned, prepped and cut into rings
1 small wineglass white wine
100ml tomato passata
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small fennel bulb, chopped into fine slithers, top green fonds for garnish
(1). Heat a large, wide saucepan and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the garlic and chopped fennel and cook till softened but not coloured. Add the mussels then add the wine and cover and cook for a few minutes till the mussels are cooked and open, remove mussels from pan and discard any which haven’t opened.
(2). Add the passata to the pan, stir well and bring to a simmer, then add the dried chilli. Simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced a little. Add the fish and squid then season. Cook gently for about 5 minutes or until the fish and prawns have cooked through.
(3). Return the mussels back to the pan and add the cherry tomato pieces then warm through.
(4). Just before serving scatter the fennel tops.
(5). Serve drizzled with olive oil and crusty bread on the side.