Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Zarzuela de Mariscos

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1/2 cup Spanish olive oil

2 large onions, finely chopped

4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch strips

2 ounce prosciutto, cut into strips

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (or use canned tomatoes)

1/2 cup ground almonds (see Note)

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads or 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped

2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup dry white wine

2 1/2 cups fish stock, or half clam juice, half water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

12 clams, well scrubbed

12 mussels, well scrubbed

6 jumbo shrimp in their shells

1 pound scallops

1 1/2 pounds squid, cleaned and cut into rings

6 lemon wedges, for garnish

Wedges of grilled country bread, for serving


  1. In a large enameled cast iron or other flameproof casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the prosciutto and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and increase the heat to medium high. Stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from scorching, cook until the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated. Stir in the ground almonds, saffron, thyme, rosemary, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, and wine. Reduce the mixture until the wine has almost all evaporated. Add the fish stock and lemon juice, bring the mixture to a boil and add the clams and mussels. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp, scallops, and squid and cook for 5 minutes more, by which time all of the shellfish should have opened. Remove and discard any that have not. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve straight from the casserole into heated soup bowls, garnished with a wedges of lemon and toasted bread.

Cook’s Note

To grind almonds, freeze 2 ounces of blanched, slivered almonds and then pulse them in a food processor only until finely ground. Do not over process or they can become oily.