Zuppa di Pesce [Fish Hunter's Stew]

Zuppa di Pesce
Fish Hunter, rather than Fisherman, since I didn't partake of any of the actual fishing, just hunting down the bargains at my local supermarket ...

I came away with some monkfish, cod, scallops and mussels.

At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with this lot, thinking most likely a succession of meals, but when I got home, I thought, "why not just bung it all into a pan with some tomato?".

... and so, that's what I did.


I decided to call this Zuppa di Pesce since it is in that tradition of simple Italian stews made the whole country over from whatever was left from selling off the day's catch married with simple local ingredients.

I did not shop for the ingredients ...

Again, in the same tradition, I used what I had.

You'll need ...

Fish - whatever you have, can find, can catch or can swipe from the cat
Sauce - Onion and tomato, that's a must ... any bulk you like, marrow, for me
Flavours - Garlic, fennel, tarragon, parsley, basil, black pepper and sea salt
Fat - Olive oil


First, make up the sauce.

Chop onion and in a large skillet get it softening in a good glug of olive oil. Don't concern yourself about the oil oxidising, just keep it on a lower than boiling heat.

To the onion, add some shredded fennel and a sprig of tarragon.

Add in some chopped garlic, a little sea salt and some black pepper.

More herbs, so parsley for depth and some basil, shredded for aromatics.

Now, in with the fish ...

Cube up your larger, white fish and push into the sauce. It will now cook through.

You could push in your shellfish, put the lid on and serve just like that, but I cooked my scallops and mussels alongside, adding in at the last minute.

Scallops just want colouring up in butter, mussels de-bearded, washed and simply steamed open in a little white wine.


Combine the lot in your skillet, take to the table and serve.

How awesome is that? ... and who needs pasta?