Seafood Stew w/Red Pepper Pesto
Makes 4 servings.
One 14 ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, 3 minced, 1 peeled
1-1/2 cups clam juice
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 medium mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 pound medium sea scallops
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup red pepper pesto (below)
Red pepper pesto:
1 small red pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons parmesan, freshly grated
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
In a food processor, puree tomatoes with their liquid.
With a mortar and pestle, grind fennel seeds.
In a large saucepan heat olive oil. Add leeks, onion and minced garlic; cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in pureed tomatoes, clam juice, white wine, thyme, fennel and bay leaf. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
Add mussels to saucepan, cover and cook over medium heat until mussels begin to open, about 3 minutes; discarding any that do not open. Add scallops and shrimp and simmer, stirring occasionally, until just cooked, about 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Ladle soup into warmed bowls and top each portion with 1 tablespoon of red pepper pesto.
Red Pepper Pesto:
Roast the pepper under the broiler as close to the heat element as possible. Turn occasionally until it is charred all over. Place the pepper in a small paper bag (or place in a bowl and cover tightly), and let steam for 10-15 minutes. Pell off the skin and remove the seeds and ribs; rinse and pat dry.
In a food processor, combine the red pepper, basil, garlic, parmesan, olive oil and balsamic vinegar; blend until almost smooth. Transfer to a serving dish.