This is one of our favorite fish ragouts, although we had a problem when we called it rape, which means anglerfish or monkfish in Spanish, on the menu. People just couldn’t bring themselves to order it. Now we call it a Catalan fish ragout with clams and greens and it sells a lot better.
Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook a few minutes. Stir in the pepper flakes and bay leaf; cook until the onions are translucent but do not let the garlic brown. Add the fish fumet and simmer about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice if you want. This base can be made hours ahead and refrigerated.
To make the ragout, heat the base to simmering in a wide saucepan with a tightŵting lid. Add the fish, clams, and greens; simmer covered until the clams open and the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Ladle the ragout into bowls and top each serving with the croutons and a good dollop of romescu or aioli.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.