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Sardinian Style Fish Casserole

Cassola Sarda
Serves 8



2 pounds well-scrubbed clams

1/2 cup white wine (We used Vermentino.)

2 or 3 springs parsley tied together plus 1/4 cup minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon or more hot red pepper flakes

1/2 pound cleaned squid, cut into 1/4-inch rings

1 pound cod, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 pound peeled medium size shrimp

3 cups passata or peeled plum tomatoes (canned or fresh) chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 clove minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Juice of 1 large lemon

1 cup fregola*

3 1/2 cups water

Juice of 1 large lemon


For the Fregola
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat; stir in the garlic and the minced parsley.  Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is deep golden brown, since this will give added flavor to the fregola.  Add the fregola to the pan and stir to coat the grains well with the olive oil.  Stir in 3 cups of the water and the lemon juice.  Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often, until the fregola has about doubled in size.  It should be firm to the bite but cooked through.  Add additional water only if the fregola are still too firm.

While the fregola is cooking, make the stew.

For the Stew
Place the clams in a large sauté pan; add the wine, clams and parsley sprigs and bring to a boil; lower heat and cook until clams open.  Discard parsley and any unopened clams.  Drain clams through a cheesecloth-lined sieve placed over a bowl.  Shuck all but 8 clams, leaving these in the shell for garnish.  Set clams and juice aside.

In a large Dutch oven or similar heavy pot, heat the oi.  Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute or two to let it soften.

Add the squid and cod and cook for a minute or two.  Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Add the minced parsley, passata or tomatoes and reserved clam juice and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the clams and salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop fregola into bottom of soup bowls and top with the stew and reserved clams in the shell.

*This recipe also works well with couscous.

This recipe is featured on show 2921 – Warm Up with Soup.


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