Yum Yum Yum. What sounds better than a 30 minute seafood dinner, filled with a rich tomato sauce and perfectly cooked orzo, sitting with your family outside on a warm summer night- er scratch that, for my family more like a Thursday night watching last night's episode of Master Chef or reruns of Modern Family. Anyone with me?
Whenever my family goes out to eat, we normally never end up inside an Italian restaurant. Here is why: when you live in a house with 4 cooks, 1 of who loves to cook and can whip up anything in a moments notice, paying for an overpriced plate of a simple pasta dish just doesn't cut it- even if we are really lazy to cook anything and are craving pasta. Over the years, my family has become increasingly hard core and judgey over the types of foods we should eat out. For us, a normal take out meal is something like the amazing Vietnamese sandwiches and pho down the street- ohh possible future recipe coming up?, or some sushi or Indian food! We are just not satisfied eating at Olive Garden and paying an insane amount of money for something that can easily be made at home in the fraction of the price.
Are you one of those people who are intimidated by making Italian food (pasta, stews, pizzas... etc.) or just cooking in general? I am here to pull you out of that bubble because Italian food is probably the simplest and tastiest food you can make. The greatest thing about this cuisine is that they use the freshest and most minimal ingredients- they really let the star of the dish shine. Like for this seafood stew, the only seasonings are some herbs, lemon, bay leaves, salt and pepper. That's it!
What you should know about cooking Italian food, especially when it comes to dishes like these, is the simpler- the better! Let me just tell you that this is a HUGE challenge for me. It took me a lot of patience and control for me to resist the urge to add a dash of this or a sprinkle of that when testing out this recipe. You need to just add minimal seasonings to let the seafood flavor shine through.
I promise you when I say that this recipe won't take more than 30 minutes to make and your family will be enjoying a fresh, homemade dinner that they thought you bought from the Italian restaurant down the street.
Italian Seafood Stew print
1/2 lb clams (or muscles, note that cooking time will vary) cleaned
1/2 lb firm white fish fillets (cod, swai, halibut…etc)
1/2 lb cleaned shrimp with tails on
1 cup chopped andouille sausage (if desired)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
2-3 dried bay leaves
1 whole yellow/ white onion chopped
5 garlic cloves chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
5 large ripe tomatoes cubed
16oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water (or fish stock if handy)*
half a lemon
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil (plus more to garnish)
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley (plus more to garnish)
orzo and/ or crusty white bread to serve
Italian Seafood Stew
Author: Rachel’s Eats
Serves: 4-6 portions (plus leftovers)
First prepare your seafood. Cut your fish down the middle lengthwise so you have 2, approximately 2 inch wide pieces. Cut each piece into 2 inch pieces. Set all seafood aside.
In a heavy bottom pot, begin sautéing your oil, onions, garlic, spices and bay leaves. Sauté your sausage at this moment if using. Cook for 5-10 minutes on medium high heat until the onions turn golden. Add in your tomatoes, water or stock, and white wine if using. Cook for another 10-15 minutes stirring a few times.
Add in your fish and clams cooking for 2-3 minutes with the lid closed. Next, turn off your heat and add in your shrimp cooking with the lid off. Since you should be serving this immediately, your shrimp should be cooked by the time you serve it. Otherwise, cook for shrimp for 30-45 seconds. The residual heat from the pot will be enough heat to ensure perfectly cooked shrimp. Finish your stew with the lemon juice and herbs.
Prepare your bowls with your orzo and/ or bread. Serve a healthy portion of the stew and garnish with more herbs. Best eaten immediately! If you have leftovers, store your orzo and stew separately! If not done so, the orzo will soak up all the liquid and there will be no “sauce” when you eat it next.
If you want, you can add in 1/2 cup white wine into the stew. This will enrich the flavor even more. Just replace 1/2 cup of the water or stock for the white wine and cook accordingly.
I hope you guys give this a try and tell me how it went! If you did then I hope you saw how easy it is to cook some of your favorite dishes at home. Make sure to like, share, comment and subscribe to my blog!
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Hello! Welcome to my little baby aka my food page where I funnel all my foodie fueled creativity into recipes and photos. My name, if you haven't guessed already, is Rachel and I am a 2nd year Statistics major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Want to learn more about me? Click here!