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Adriatic Fish Stew with Clams, Squid, and Shrimp


Plan to do this recipe on your day off to allow for shopping of fresh, seafood ingredients and ample prep time. Recipe first appeared in Food and Wine magazine in January, 1995. It will be well worth your time and effort.

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  • Croutons
  • 12 1/2 ”-thick clices of Italian bread
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved lengthwise
  • Stew
  • 1/2 lb cleaned small squid (about 4) cut into 1/4” rings
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 pounds assorted non-oily fish—cleaned, filleted and cut into 3-inch pieces; heads, bones and tails reserved and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups canned Italian peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their liquid
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound cleaned skate wing
  • 1 pound cherrystone clams, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Make the croutons
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Toast for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Rub the croutons on one side with the garlic.


Preparation time 60mins
Cooking time 90mins


Step 1

Make the stew

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the squid, stir once and drain immediately. Plunge the squid into a bowl of cold water and drain thoroughly.

Heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided non-reactive skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. When the garlic is golden, discard it. Transfer the onion to a bowl.

Add the fish heads, bones and tails and the shrimp shells to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup of the wine and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of water and strain the mixture, pressing on the solids. Wipe out the skillet and return the liquid to it.

Add the cooked onion to the skillet with the remaining 1/4 cup wine and the vinegar and simmer over moderate heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their liquid and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spread the firmest fish—skate, monkfish and halibut—in the skillet in a single layer. Cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, then turn the pieces over. Add the more delicate fish—red snapper, sea bass, whiting, haddock and gray mullet—and the shrimp to the skillet and top with the clams. The sauce should barely cover the fish; if necessary, add a little water. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the fish is cooked through and most of the clams have opened, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the fish, shrimp and opened clams to a large warmed serving bowl and cover loosely with foil. Boil the broth over moderately high heat until reduced to about 4 cups, removing the clams as they open. Stir the squid into the broth to rewarm it.

Pour the sauce and squid over the seafood, sprinkle with parsley, and serve with croutons.

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