Ribarski brodet was once the most celebrated fish stew of Europe, and should still be. Anything found in the Adriatic – bream, eel, grouper, hake, mackerel, mussels, prawns, red mullet, scarpi, squid, tuna – went into this dish in equal portions.
1 kg mixed fish, whole, gutted 500 g borlotti beans, fresh 500 ml dry white wine 400 g tomatoes, chopped 400 ml water 250 g mussels in shells 250 g prawns in shells 250 g squid 125 g onion, chopped 100 g carrots, chopped 100 g celery, chopped 5 garlic cloves, chopped 45 ml olive oil 15 g parsley, chopped 15 ml vinegar 1 lemon, juiced 2 bay leaves Salt, pinch Pepper, pinch
Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan, add the onion and garlic. Turn down heat, simmer until onions are transparent. Stir in the tomatoes and beans, add the carrots, celery, bay leaves and water. Season, bring to the boil, then simmer for 90 minutes until the beans are cooked. Remove the bay leaves, add lemon juice and vinegar. About an hour into the cooking of the bean stew, preheat the oven to 180°C, arrange the mixed fish and squid in a casserole dish, pour in the wine, cover and bake, about 45 minutes depending on the size of your fish. With 15 minutes to go add the mussels and squid. When the fish are cool enough to handle, break into pieces, cut the squid into pieces and serve in the stew, with the mussels in their half-shells and the prawns whole. Garnish with parsley.
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