Fish stew

Fish stew

It's something of an Italian Christmas Eve tradition to feast on this fish stew. And it's done in 30 minutes!


  • 2kg/4lb 8oz mixed fresh fish fillets and shellfish, such as red mullet, small sole, gurnard, monkfish, sea bass, cuttlefish, baby octopus, prawns, mussels, squid or scallops
  • 8 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus an extra clove for the toast
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped, or 2x400g/14oz tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 125ml/4fl oz red wine
  • chopped fresh chilli, to taste
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 slices good bread, slightly stale or toasted