Seafood Stew With Fennel And Sun-dried Tomatoes
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head fennel, thinly sliced
Large pinch crushed red pepper, to taste, add more if you like spice
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup white wine
1 cup clam juice or seafood stock
½ tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
20 little neck or cherrystone clams, soaked in cool water and scrubbed
2 lbs mussels, soaked in cool water and debearded
1 lb 16/20 shrimp,
preferably wild American, peeled and deveined
1 lb bay or sea scallops
1 bunch basil, leaves chopped
1 bunch parsley, leaves chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomato puree
In a large pot (with a tightly fitted lid) over medium heat, sauté onions, garlic and a large pinch of salt in olive oil, about 3 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add fennel and crushed red pepper, sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add bay leaf, thyme, tomatoes, white wine, clam juice, remaining salt, and pepper. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce by a third.
Add clams, stir and cover for 1 minute, or longer for larger clams.
Add mussels, stir, cover and cook for 1 minute more.
Add shrimp, stir, cover and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add scallops, stir, cover and cook for about 2 minutes, or until shrimp and scallops are opaque and most of the mussels and clams are opened. Discard those that do not open. Turn off heat.
Add basil and parsley. Stir sun-dried tomato puree into broth, and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread, lightly toasted.