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Zuppa di Pesci alla Jessica Darling

(Roman-Style Fish Stew)

Zuppa di Pesci

Pots needed 2 (large cooking pot for the stew, smaller pot for rice)

Boil water in a separate pot to prepare your rice. Heat up your cooking pot, so that you will be ready to brown your fish. Be ready to begin cooking this dish as soon as you add rice and begin simmering; the rice should be done just before this dish is ready.

In a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil and brown the fish filets on the outside (top and bottom), then remove them to finish later. Note: Because your choice of fish varies (depending on what you can get), some fish will fall apart when cooked while some will stay together. Put the fish filets around the edge of the pan, and if they look like they will fall apart, then don't remove them, just saute the onions in the center of the circle.

After removing fish (or not, see above), add onions, garlic, and fennel to the pan. Saute until onions are nearly translucent.

Add the squid and cook and stir until opaque, about 2 minutes. If the pan needs to be "deglazed" after the squid, first add a little wine and deglaze the pan, then add the rest of the wine. Simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid.

After the wine has simmered a little, mix in the tomatoes. Add a shot of Sriracha, salt and pepper to taste, and parsley. After that stews a little, add the broth. Mix well to desired consistency, then return the fish to the pan, along with any juices that have come out of the fish while resting (omit this step if you have not removed the fish from the pan).

Bring the soup to a simmer or low boil. Add clams, then quickly cover the pot to steam them. Cook until all the clams open and the fish is opaque throughout, about 10 minutes. Discard any clams that failed to open. Adjust the seasonings.

To serve: Ladle a scoop of rice into a bowl, then pour the soup over rice. Garnish with crusty bread.

recipe courtesy of Jessica Darling