Sicilian Seafood Stew

, from Issue #65. March, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Sicilian Seafood Stew

Brimming with fresh seafood that’s been simmered in a fennel and tomato broth, all you need to accompany this stew is a big bowl of couscous mixed with lemon zest, toasted pine nuts and parsley for an easy weekend feast.

Serves: 6


500 grams firm, white fish fillets (I used monkfish)
300 grams raw peeled prawns 
700 grams small clams or cockles 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced with fronds reserved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup white wine
1 cup water
1 × 400 gram tin whole cherry tomatoes or crushed Italian tomatoes
sea salt and ground pepper
small handful parsley, chopped, to serve


Base: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or saucepan. Add the onion, fennel, garlic, chilli flakes and cumin. Season then cover and cook for 5 minutes. Increase the heat and pour in the wine, letting the mixture bubble up for 5 minutes and reduce down. Add the water and tomatoes, bring back to the boil then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Cut the fish into large bite-sized pieces and season. Nestle into the sauce along with the prawns and clams. Cover and cook over a low heat until the seafood is just cooked through. Add the parsley to serve.

Cook's tip: Place the clams or cockles in a large bowl of cold, lightly salted water for 30 minutes. Lift the shellfish out of the water by hand, leaving the sediment behind in the bottom of the bowl.