Pacific Cod and Clam Cacciucco

Total Time:
1 hr 50 min
Prep:
35 min
Cook:
1 hr 15 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • For the fish stock:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds white fish bones, such as cod
  • 1/2 pound shrimp shells
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • For the basic tomato broth:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thin, reserve fronds for garnish
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced thin on the bias
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 quarts light fish stock
  • Large pinch saffron
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed or pureed
  • 1 bundle thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound cleaned cod fillets, cut into 4 pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 16 littleneck clams
  • 4 cups basic tomato broth
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, reserve shells for stock
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans
  • 2 cups escarole leaves
  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta, cut into 4 (3/4-inch) thick slices
  • 1 garlic clove
  • High quality extra-virgin olive oil
Directions
For the stew: For the fish stock:

Heat a stock pot, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and salt, to taste, and sweat for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the fish bones and shrimp shells and fill the pot with water. Add the bay leaves and thyme and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a bowl and reserve. Voila! Fishstock!

For the tomato broth:

Heat a large saucepan, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium heat. Add the onions, fennel, celery and a large pinch of salt. Cook the veggies until soft and very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and reduce by half. Season with salt. It's important to season all along the way.

Add 2 quarts of fish stock and the saffron. Stir in the pureed tomatoes, thyme and bay leaves. Season with salt and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. The final broth should be a very pretty and flavorful soup. Taste and add salt, if needed. Remove and discard the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Reserve.

For the stew:

Heat a straight sided saute pan, lightly coated with olive oil, over high heat. Season the cod with salt, add it to the pan and brown it on all sides. Remove the cod from the pan to a large plate and reserve.

Drain the fat from the pan and add the clams and about 4 cups of the tomato broth. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and cod along with the beans and the escarole. Cover and cook until the cod and shrimp are cooked through and the escarole is wilted. If at any point the soup has cooked down too much, add more tomato broth.

For the toast:

Preheat grill. Place bread slices on grill and toast on both sides. Remove and rub with garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and cut in half.

To assemble:

Remove the cod, clams and shrimp from the pan and put in a bowl. Spoon the beans and escarole into serving bowls. Ladle in the tomato broth and arrange the cod, clams and shrimp on the beans and escarole. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fennel fronds. Serve 2 grilled bread slices with each serving.

Fantasico!!!


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