Zuppa di pesce


  • Serves 6 people

  • ½ cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh birdseye chilli, finely chopped
  • 400 gm clams (vongole), soaked and drained
  • 1.2 kg black mussels, scrubbed and bearded
  • 4 egg tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 (500gm) squid hoods, scored and thickly sliced
  • 3 (325gm each) blue swimmer crabs, cleaned and halved
  • 450 gm scampi, heads removed, cleaned and halved lengthways
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 110 gm (½ cup) fregola (see note), roasted at 180C for 6 minutes
  • 600 gm snapper fillets, skinned, pin-boned and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1/4 cup loosely-packed basil leaves
01   Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole, add garlic and chilli and cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until soft.
02   Add clams, mussels, tomatoes and half the parsley and bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over high heat for 3 minutes or until clams and mussels open, then transfer to a large bowl, cover and keep warm. Add squid to pan and cook for 1 minute or until opaque, and transfer to bowl with clams and mussels. Add crabs and scampi to pan and cook for 3 minutes or until shells change in colour.
03   Add stock and fregola to pan, bring to a simmer, then cook, covered, over low heat for 6 minutes or until fregola is just tender. Add snapper and cook for 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Return other seafood to pan, add basil and remaining parsley and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes or until heated through.
04   Divide soup among bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

Note Fregola is made from durum semolina pasta, which is rolled into irregular shapes, then roasted for a nutty flavour. Available from The Essential Ingredient and Enoteca Sileno.

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