SEAFOOD STEW ON POLENTA
• 1⁄2 cup olive oil
• 2 cups diced yellow onion
• 1 cup diced carrots
• 1 cup diced leeks
• 1 cup diced celery
• 1⁄2 cup diced green bell pepper
• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 cups red wine
• 1 quart crushed red tomatoes
• 1 pint fish stock
• 1⁄4 cup clam juice
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 8 ounces calamari tubes and tentacles (cleaned and rinsed with tubes cut lengthwise into 1⁄2 inch wide strips)
• 12 each fresh 16-20 shrimp (peeled, deveined and cut in half lengthwise)
• 8 ounces fresh white fish, such as cod (remove bones and cut into 1-inch cubes)
• 16-20 mussels (cleaned and rinsed)
• 16-20 clams (cleaned and rinsed)
• 1 cup white polenta
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
• 1 cup mascarpone cheese
• 3 ounces butter
• 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• Salt to taste
1. In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, leeks and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
2. Add the garlic, stir to combine and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Then, stir in the tomato paste. Increase the heat to high, and cook the tomato paste and vegetables until they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan a bit and a caramelized crust begins to form.
3. Pour in the red wine and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up any of the crusty bits from the base of the pan. Add the tomatoes, fish stock and clam juice, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and adjust seasoning to taste. Simmer for 45 minutes while preparing the seafood.
4. Bring the sauce base to a gentle simmer. Add the clams and mussels, stir through, then return to a simmer. Add the white fish and do the same. Then add the calamari and repeat again. At this point the clams and mussels should just be starting to pop but not yet fully open. The fish should be taking on a firm texture. The calamari should just be starting to curl.
5, Add the shrimp and bring back to a gentle simmer. Cook until the clams and mussels pop open fully; the calamari is firm but tender; the fish begins to flake and the shrimp are just barely cooked through. Remember, the seafood continues to cook and all this happens quickly once its added to the simmering sauce.
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, cream and stock to a simmer. Season with salt.
2. Whisk in the polenta gradually in an even stream. Turn heat down as low as you can and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes.
3. Stir in the mascarpone cheese, nutmeg and butter, then keep warm until ready to serve.
Assembly and Serve
1. Pour the polenta out onto a wooden board or large platter.
2. Ladle the Seafood Bolognese over the top.
3. Finish with a bit of chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.