Spicy Seafood Stew

Preparation info

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    • Difficulty


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 lively, peppery shellfish stew is inspired by the Italian specialty, zuppa di pesce fra diavolo. We use shrimp, mussels, and clams, but you can make it with any combination of seafood.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Italian-style plum tomatoes, with juice, chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 12 mussels, scrubbed, debearded, and washed
  • 4 thick slices Italian or French bread, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


    1. Heat the oil in a large wide saucepan or deep skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Do not brown the garlic.
    2. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, the wine, and bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered, stirring to break up tomatoes, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Add the shrimp and stir for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the clams and mussels in an even layer and spoon sauce over the shellfish. Cover tightly and cook over high heat until all the mussels and clams have opened, 3 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened shellfish. Correct seasonings.
    4. Place a slice of bread in each of 4 shallow soup bowls. Top with the shrimp, clams, and mussels. Discard the bay leaf and spoon the sauce over the shellfish. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.