Italian Seafood Stew

My family enjoys Italian Seafood Stew every Christmas Eve, but I also make it when I want to change up my cooking repertoire or when entertaining friends. This recipe is a little more time consuming than most recipes I make because of the seafood preparation, but is totally worth the extra time and effort if you are craving seafood.

The great thing about this stew is it is easily modifiable. If you don’t like a certain type of seafood, swap it out for something else. I prefer to make this recipe with lobster; if you do not want lobster, don’t include it and adjust the cooking time.

When my mother makes this dish, she does not make it with lobster but adds crab and swordfish instead. Depending on my mood or availability, I swap out or add different fishes. Sometime I include less fish if I want to do a little less prep work or want to decrease the seafood expense. This is one of those recipes you can easily tweak based on your needs and preferences.

To some, working with seafood can be a daunting task, but it does not have to be. My mother found frozen mussels and clams that were already out of their shells which quickened the prep time. As much as I prefer fresh to frozen, feel free to substitute if you want to simplify things. This recipe is super delicious either way!

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Italian Seafood Stew
Italian Seafood Stew, Christmas Eve 2018


3 Tbsp of EVOO

3 Flat Anchovy Fillets in oil, drained

1 Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced

1 Onion, chopped

3 Shallots, chopped

4 Celery Ribs, Chopped

2 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Black Pepper

4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

4 Tbsp Tomato Paste

28 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes in their juice

1 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine

5 Cups Fish Stock (can also use other stock with clam juice or beer)

4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (stems removed)

1 Bay Leaf

4 0z. Lobster Tails (1 pp)

1 lb Clams, Cleaned

1lb Mussles, Cleaned and Debearded

1 lb Oysters, shucked and in their liquor

1 lb Shrimp, uncooked, peeled and deveined

1/2 lb Sea or Bay Scallops (whichever you prefer)

1 lb Halibut cut into 1″ chunks

1/4 lb Squid

Handful Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Crusty Bread to Serve on the Side

Italian Seafood Stew


Heat oil in very large pot over medium heat, then sauté anchovies until they melt.

Add fennel, onion, shallots and celery, salt and black pepper and sauté about 7 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and cook another 3-5 minutes until the paste carmelizes and turns a reddish brown color.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook another few minutes.

Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, stock, thyme and bay leaf.

Cover and bring to simmer.

Reduce heat and keep on med-low for about an hour or more to allow the flavors to combine.

Bring liquid to boil. Add lobster tails. Cover and cook over over high heat for 8 minutes.

Add clams, mussels and oysters. Cover and cook until shells open – about 5 minutes.

Add rest of seafood and simmer gently until fish and shrimp are cooked through – about 4-8 minutes.

Discard any clams and mussels that do not open. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish bowls with chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread…Enjoy!


Thank you so much for following along! If you decide to make this recipe, let me know how you like it! Please leave your ideas, comments & more below or contact me here. Be sure to find me, @bricksnblooms, on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!

Thank you for sharing with me. Happy cooking – enjoy your day! xo




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