Shellfish Stew with Red Wine and Fennel

cioppino fish stew tastefood

~ Shellfish Stew with Red Wine and Fennel ~

Enough with the meat already. It’s time to lighten things up. January is the month of bowl-food in our home. Fancy holiday meals, featuring ribs and roasts, sauces and reductions, have taken a New Year’s time out, replaced by vessels brimming with steaming soups and stews, risottos and and noodle concoctions. And while meat is welcome, right now I am craving the lightness of fresh seafood. Served in a bowl, of course.

Shellfish Stew with Red Wine and Fennel

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, with juices
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups medium-bodied red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or to taste
18 littleneck clams (or mussels)
18 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
6 to 8 large sea scallops
2 cooked crabs, legs cracked, flesh removed from bodies

Fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and fennel. Cook, stirring until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. If necessary add a spoonful of sugar. Add clams. Cover pot and cook until clam shells open, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and sea scallops. Cook, partially covered until just cooked through. Add the crab legs and meat. Continue to cook until thoroughly heated. Discard any unopened clams. Serve in warm bowls garnished with parsley. Accompany with crusty baguette or garlic bread.

16 responses to “Shellfish Stew with Red Wine and Fennel

  1. this sounds like an old dish we used to make at the beach called ‘click clack soup’. i like the fennel.. c

  2. angelamroberts

    Lynda, I love “bowl” food. We do a lot of “bowl” food. Fennel goes so well with seafood too.

  3. Fish stew is one of my favourites, which is ironic because as a child I couldn’t stand it! The best one ever was in Marseille, they served it with a saffron aioli. I’m bookmarking this for a meal real soon.

  4. Gorgeous dish! Just yesterday we saw clams at the store and Phil asked me how come I never cooked clams. Ever! Well, maybe I was waiting for this recipe.. 😉

    (will report back, I confess to being a bit intimidated about clams)

  5. A fantastic combination! This comforting stew must taste wonderful.



  6. Your stew looks delicious and easier than so many recipes I have tried. Pinning this beautiful shot.

  7. I always save mine in the freezer for chili or tomato sauce! Too expensive to throw away!

  8. I’m drooling. This looks so good!

  9. This looks so good! We are going to have to add it to our recipes for the plantation! Thank you for sharing!

    Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

  10. I love that this includes fennel. Just a great recipe!

  11. Looks very good:)

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  13. Enough with the meat is right!! This looks just wonderful. I would have guess white wine here – the red wine must make it a very flavorful flavor. Very nice!

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