I spent a few days in Florence about 30 years ago, and while I don’t remember much, I do recall a few things that surprised me, with this Tuscan Fish Stew being the most delicious. I’d had similar stews before that, but what I found so interesting was how herbs like oregano, sage, and rosemary, which I considered “meat only” seasonings were also used with seafood. The other surprises were the partial nudity on TV and in magazines, but that’s another blog post.
Tuscan Fish Stew – Just Like I Barely Remember Having in Italy
Anyway, it was quite the epiphany, since at the time, being fresh out of culinary school, I thought parsley, dill, and maybe tarragon were the only herbs we cooks were allowed to use for fish. Now that seems ridiculous, but at the time it was pretty heady stuff. Speaking of which, you do need to be careful, since these more resinous herbs can easily overpower a delicate dish.
As I said in the video, any tomato product will work in this, but I really like cherry tomatoes here, since they provide a fragrant freshness you just won’t get with a can or jar. You do need to strain them after blending, but the few extra minutes of work will be well worth the effort.
By the way, I hear that for this to qualify as an official Italian fish stew you need use at least five different types of seafood, which is both insane and adorable, but I thought I’d mention it just in case any old-school Tuscans are coming over. Regardless, I really do hope you give this easy and delicious fish stew a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 2 large portions:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 sliced green onions
4 cloves sliced garlic
1 anchovy fillet
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 cups cherry tomatoes, blended with 1 cup of clam juice, or chicken broth
12 ounces halibut or other white fish
1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp or other seafood
salt to taste
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, and pinch of rosemary)
crusty bread for soaking up the broth