This heady stew is in the tradition of Italian Christmas Eve, but borrows flavors from around the Mediterranean.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound (21-25 per pound) peeled and deveined large shrimp
- 1/2 teapsoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large fennel bulb, cored, quartered and sliced
- 8 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth
- 3 cups water
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
- 24 little neck cans, scrubbed
- 24 mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
- 4 cups seafood broth or clam juice
- 1 pound codfish fillet, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in stock pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add half to the pot and cook until lightly browned, 1 minute per side; transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining shrimp to pot and repeat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot and add onion, fennel, garlic, oregano, basil, and saffron; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 4-5 minutes. Pour in the vermouth, bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Add 1 cup water and tomatoes. Return to a boil, add the clams, cover and cook until clams open, 5-6 minutes. Transfer clams to bowl with shrimp. Add mussels to the pot, cover and cook until open, 2-3 minutes; transfer to bowl with shrimp.
- Pour remaining 2 cups water and broth into pot; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Add codfish, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; gently cook 2-3 minutes until cod is nearly cooked through. Stir in parsley, then return shrimp, clams, and mussels to pot. Increase heat to medium high and cook until hot, 2 minutes. Serve.