Italian-Style Fish Stew

Italian-Style Fish Stew

This is a simple Italianate fish stew, with classic Mediterranean flavors. It’s easy to put together and everything can be prepped ahead. Just pop it the oven 30 minutes before dinner.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Marinate the fish: Cut fish into 2-inch chunks and place in a medium bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add half the chopped thyme, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the lemon slices. Toss to coat and set aside for 30 minutes (or refrigerate for up to 8 hours).
  2. Step 2

    Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, stirring, 5 or 6 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Add reserved thyme, minced garlic, saffron, red pepper flakes, fennel seed, bay leaf and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add wine, tomatoes and stock or water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust; the broth should be well seasoned. (This seasoned base may be prepared up to 1 day in advance, if desired.)
  4. Step 4

    Heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange fish, clams and lemon slices in the bottom of a 9-by-12-inch baking dish or a wide earthenware casserole of similar size. Ladle the broth over everything, cover and bake for 20 minutes, or until clams have opened and fish flakes easily.
  5. Step 5

    Toast the bread and rub each slice with garlic. Sprinkle parsley over the soup. Serve in low soup bowls, giving each guest some fish, clams, broth and garlic toast.