Tomato-steamed Seafood Stew over Green Linguine

Preparation info

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Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

This zesty seafood stew is lavish but low in calories. It works equally well as the centerpiece of a dinner party or a meal for family or friends. You can prepare the tomato base mixture in advance. Then at serving time, all you have to do is reheat the sauce and drop in the seafood while the pasta cooks. In keeping with Italian tradition, cheese is not served with seafood sauces.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small red (bell) pepper, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (about 1 pound) tomatoes in puree
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice or ¾ cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 pound spinach linguine
  • 1 dozen littleneck or other small clams or ½ pound sea scallops, cut into 2 or 3 pieces each if very large, or a combination of scallops and clams
  • ¾ pound thick fish fillets, such as cod, scrod, or haddock, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • ¾ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Small basil or parsley sprigs, for garnish


    1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, oregano, red pepper, bay leaf, orange zest, and water, tossing to coat. Cover and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to wilt, 3 or 4 minutes. Uncover and sauté, tossing, for 3 minutes longer.
    2. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Rinse out the can with a little water and add that. Cook, breaking up the tomatoes, for about 8 minutes. Add the clam juice and simmer until the sauce has thickened lightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and orange peel. (The recipe can be prepared in advance to this point.)
    3. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta and add salt. Return the tomato mixture to a simmer, if necessary. Boil the pasta just until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, place the clams in the simmering tomato mixture and cover tightly. Simmer gently, adjusting the heat if necessary, for about 3 minutes, or until the shells are just beginning to open. Stir in the chunks of fish and shrimp. Cover tightly and simmer until the fish is just opaque and the clams have opened, 4 or 5 minutes. Timing may vary; do not overcook.
    4. Turn off the heat. Add the parsley, basil, a few drops of lemon juice, pepper, and a little salt, if needed. When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander, leaving it slightly moist. Arrange the pasta in 4 shallow bowls. Spoon the seafood stew over the pasta, using tongs to arrange the pieces quickly and attractively. Garnish with basil or parsley sprigs and serve immediately. Pass a pepper mill at the table.