Try this Tuscan fish stew then check out our vegetarian stew and other Italian recipes.

Recipe author Katie Caldesi says: "I have always thought it strange that Britain doesn’t have a culinary history of fish stew since we are surrounded by water. Up and down the length of Italy are varying recipes for fish in sauce, usually made with broken, oddly shaped or left-over fish and shellfish from the fishmonger’s stall, but always with plenty of flavour. Stufato di pesce, or fish stew, is made both with and without tomatoes, some with saffron, others with pine nuts and mushrooms, some with pasta, others in a simple broth."


  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole and lightly crushed
  • 4 small squid, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 200ml white wine
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 300g skinless, boneless fillet gurnard or hake, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 300g clams, cleaned
  • 300g mussels, cleaned
  • 12 king or tiger prawns, shells on
  • 500ml fish stock
  • crusty white bread or sourdough, thickly sliced and toasted


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a large, deep, lidded frying pan. Fry the onion for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and some seasoning, and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the squid, put the lid on the pan and cook for a few minutes, shaking the pan frequently. Remove the lid and add the wine – leaving the lid off let the wine reduce for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, bash them with a wooden spoon to break them up a bit (they will also break down during cooking) and cook for 20 minutes. Add the gurnard, clams, mussels, prawns and stock, and bring to the boil.

  • STEP 2

    Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. At this point discard any closed clams and mussels. Taste to adjust the seasoning, then serve in warm bowls, garnished with parsley and accompanied by crusty bread. Some Livornese put the bread at the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle the soup on top of it to become soaked in the glorious juices!


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