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RECIPE: Shellfish Stew, Sardinian-Style

Sardinian-style Seafood Stew HB Home Bistro perfect for crowd. |  Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Sardinian-style Seafood Stew at HB Home Bistro, perfect for a crowd. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 20, 2012 8:00AM

If you’ve convinced yourself that seafood is tricky to cook, this will change your mind. Use the freshest seafood you can get, and you’ll be rewarded with a fragrant stew that comes together quickly.


1 pound fregola or Israeli couscous (see Note)

1 cup good-quality olive oil

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 bulb diced fennel

1 cup dry white wine

Salt and coarse black pepper

1 teaspoon dried basil

Pinch saffron threads

3 pounds mussels (prefer- ably Prince Edward Island)

20 littleneck clams

20 tiger shrimp (peeled, tail-on)

8 calamari, cut into rings and tentacles (about

3/4 pound)

3 cups vegetable stock

Zest of 1 lemon

1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice

Chopped parsley and dill

Over medium heat, in a skillet pan, lightly toast fregola or couscous in the olive oil. Add chopped onion, tomatoes, garlic, fennel and wine. Season with salt and pepper and stir.

Add basil, saffron, mussels, clams and shrimp and cook, stirring, while shellfish open.

Add remaining ingredients (except chopped herbs) and lower heat, seasoning as you go. Cover and allow to simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, or until fregola is tender. Be mindful not to overcook shellfish.

Serve topped with chopped herbs.

Note: Fregola is a Sardinian pasta that resembles ball-shaped Israeli couscous. The latter is a fine substitute.

Joncarl Lachman, HB Home Bistro and Vincent

Nutrition facts per serving: 801 calories, 35 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 189 mg cholesterol, 69 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugars, 46 g protein, 836 mg sodium, 6 g fiber

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