Tuscan Fish Stew


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  • Four 3/4-inch-thick slices of Tuscan bread

  • 5 garlic cloves, 4 minced, 1 peeled

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded

  • 1 pound cockles or Manila clams, scrubbed

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup drained canned Italian peeled tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 3/4 pound thick, firm white-fleshed fish fillets, such as snapper, halibut or sea bass, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the bread directly on the oven rack, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Rub the toast with the peeled garlic clove and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Turn off the heat and keep the toast warm in the oven with the door ajar.

  2. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and the minced garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the mussels, cockles and wine and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until most of the shells have opened and the liquid has reduced by half, 4 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and 3 tablespoons of the parsley, cover and bring to a boil.

  3. Add the fish and shrimp and season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Add the water to slow the cooking. Simmer over moderately low heat until cooked through, 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the seafood to a large, deep platter, cover and keep warm.

  4. Boil the broth until reduced by one-fourth, 5 minutes, then pour it over the fish stew. Season the stew with salt and pepper, spoon into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley. Serve hot, with the garlicky toast.

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