About 4 hours before you intend to start to cook: put the cod fillets in a dish, sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt and chill.
About 30 minutes before cooking: wash and beard the mussels, discarding any which do not close when tapped. Scrub the clams. Clean the squid and cut into rings. Rinse and skin the cod and cut into bite-size chunks.
Peel and dice the carrot, onion and potatoes. Slice the fennel, celery and courgette, if using. Deseed and slice the chilli.
In a heavy-based saucepan, saute the vegetables in the olive oil until softened.
Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Holding point — you can hold the broth at this point for an hour or so.
Return the broth to the boil and add the pasta. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the clams, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Now add the mussels, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add the cod and the squid. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Leave the lid off and lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the cod is opaque and just cooked.
Serve in large soup bowls, dressing each dish with 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and with whole parsley leaves scattered over.
© 1995 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.