Halibut and clams with acqua pazza

Serves 6
Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Acqua pazza means crazy water in Italian. It is peasant food at its best: simple, but with lots and lots of flavour - perfect for sopping up with bread.

6 fillets wild halibut (approx 200g/7oz each)
35 clams
2 yellow onions, peeled and finely sliced
3tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil (omega)
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
1 bunch of marjoram leaves, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tsp fennel seeds, warmed gently in a pan to release the flavour and then ground
2 tins good-quality tomatoes
3 cups of water
Sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large saucepan over a medium heat, pour in the olive oil and allow to warm through. Add the onions, dried chilli and fennel seeds, turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and marjoram and a good pinch of salt and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the water and turn the heat to medium, and stir well to combine. Cook for a further 20 minutes, returning the heat to low again for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

While the acqua pazza is cooking, clean the clams under cold running water, discarding any bruised or open ones. Season the halibut fillets generously with salt and pepper.

Place a pan on top of the stove and add a little olive oil. When the oil is hot, lay the halibut in it, skin-side down, and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.

Place the clams in the acqua pazza and lay the fish, skin-side up, on top. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the clams open. Ladle into bowls and serve with chewy peasant-style bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with a peppery, new season's olive oil.

Comments