Italian Seafood Stew with Garlic Herb Croutons

Fans of seafood will fall for this flavorful stew featuring clams, cod, shrimp and scallops.


8 servings


12 fresh clams in shells
2 tablespoons white vinegar
12 fresh mussels in shells
2 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 cup dry white wine or water
1 (7 ounce) container refrigerated pesto
1 pound cod fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp (about 16), thawed if frozen, tail shells removed
1/2 pound uncooked sea scallops (about 16), thawed if frozen
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, room temperature
16 slices (1/2 inch thick) French bread


Discard any broken-shell or open (dead) clams. Place remaining clams in large container. Cover with 1 1/2 cups water and the vinegar. Let stand 30 minutes; drain. Scrub clams in cold water.

Meanwhile, discard any broken-shell or open (dead) mussels. Scrub remaining mussels in cold water, removing any barnacles with a dull paring knife. Pull beard by giving it a tug (using a kitchen towel may help). If you have trouble removing it, use a pliers to grip and pull gently. Place mussels in large container. Cover with cool water. Agitate water with hand, then drain and discard water. Repeat several times until water runs clear; drain.

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). In 4-quart Dutch oven, mix clam juice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine and 1/2 cup of the pesto. Layer cod, shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams in Dutch oven. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until mussel and clam shells have opened.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix butter and remaining pesto until well blended. Spread on both sides of bread. On ungreased baking sheet, place bread in single layer.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, until toasted on both sides.

Discard any mussels or clams that don't open. Spoon stew into soup bowls; top with croutons.

Estimated Time

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Additional Information

Double up on frozen seafood and fish if fresh is hard to come by.

Have all the ingredients assembled on a tray or baking sheet in your refrigerator so you can whip this up in minutes on Christmas Eve.

Nutritional Information

1 Serving (1 Serving): Calories 450 (Calories from Fat 190), Total Fat 21 g (Saturated Fat 5 g, Trans Fat 1/2 g), Cholesterol 110 mg; Sodium 1590 mg; Total Carbohydrate 33 g (Dietary Fiber 4 g, Sugars 7 g), Protein 32 g; Exchanges: 2 Starch; 1 Vegetable; 3 1/2 Very Lean Meat; 3 1/2 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices: 2

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