Suquet de peix

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This version of a classic Catalonian seafood stew is made with a tomato-based sauce, slow-simmered squid, clams and prawns. It’s thickened with a ground almond paste, called a picada. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

First published in 2023




Suquet de peix





Cover the tomatoes with boiling water and then set them aside for a couple of minutes. Drain the tomatoes, then – when cool enough to handle – peel away the skins. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and dice the flesh


Add a generous dash of olive oil to a large, lidded, heavy-based pan over medium-low heat. Add the diced jamón. Cook the jamón until the fat has melted – this will take a few minutes – stirring often

  • 1 dash of olive oil
  • 200g of jamón serrano

When the fat has melted, add the deseeded diced tomatoes, red peppers, celery, onions, smoked paprika, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook until everything begins to bubble, then turn down the heat as low as it will go. Put the lid on the pan cook very gently for 2 hours


Meanwhile, make the picada. Start by toasting the almonds in a dry pan, stirring and tossing them frequently over a medium heat until lightly golden


Grind the toasted almonds to a paste in a pestle and mortar. Add the garlic and breadcrumbs and mix well

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 slice of stale bread, made into breadcrumbs

When the tomato sauce is ready, heat up the fish stock, and then add it to the tomato sauce. Add the squid, then simmer until the squid is tender, about 40 minutes


While the squid is cooking, clean your clams by submerging them in salted water for half an hour so that they spit out all the grit and other stuff you don't want to eat


Drain the cleaned clams and add them to the sauce along with the prawns for a few minutes, until the clam shells pop open and the prawns are pink and cooked through

  • 4 large king prawns, shell on

Add a tablespoon of picada to the sauce and stir it in. Taste and decide if you want any more – I found a tablespoon to be enough


Ladle the stew into bowls, then scatter the parsley over and serve with the lemon wedges, and the crusty bread

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