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Shellfish-Tomato Stew on Soft-Cooked Polenta
© Marcus Nilsson

Shellfish-Tomato Stew on Soft-Cooked Polenta


This stew, from the owner of Casa Olivi in in Treia, Italy, loves to showcase the great seafood from the nearby Adriatic Sea. Here, she makes a tomato stew with shrimp, squid and mussels over milk-enriched polenta.

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  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, diced
  3. 6 garlic cloves, minced
  4. One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  5. 3/4 cup dry white wine
  6. Salt
  7. Freshly ground pepper
  8. 2 cups water
  9. 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  10. 1 cup milk
  11. 1 cup instant polenta
  12. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  13. 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  14. 1 pound cleaned small squid—bodies cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rings, tentacles left whole
  15. 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
  16. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Stir in the wine and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the water, stock and milk to a boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the polenta is slightly thickened, 2 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Bring the tomato sauce back to a simmer. Add the shrimp and squid and simmer over moderately high heat until barely cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and cook until they open, 4 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Whisk the polenta and ladle it into bowls. Spoon the stew over the polenta and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Vibrant Sangiovese is a fantastic pairing with tomato-based dishes.