Italian Shellfish Stew

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Shellfish are a source of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids and minerals, and they cook quickly in this tomato-based stew. Their porous texture picks up the flavors of garlic, red pepper flakes and red wine. This dish makes for a quick and low-calorie lunch or dinner.


  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped  
  • 1 garlic clove, minced, plus 2 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise 
  • 8 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded and diced 
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry red wine
  • 3/4 lb. (375 g) cleaned squid, tentacles trimmed, bodies cut in
      1/2-inch (12-mm) rings
  • 3/4 lb. (375 g) firm white fish fillet, cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm)
  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) sea scallops, side muscle removed, scallops
      halved horizontally
  • 1/4 lb. (125 g) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 littleneck clams, well scrubbed 
  • 4 slices coarse country whole-wheat bread, each about 1 inch
      (2.5 cm) thick, toasted
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish 


In a large Dutch oven or other deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and minced garlic and sauté until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and sauté until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the squid, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the white fish, scallops and shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp and scallops are opaque throughout but still tender, about 10 minutes. Add the clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch, cover and cook just until they open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any clams that failed to open.

Rub each bread slice generously on one side with a garlic clove half. Place each slice, garlic side up, in a warmed wide, shallow soup bowl. Ladle one-fourth of the stew into each bowl, dividing the fish and shellfish evenly. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014).

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