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Recipe: Sicilian Fish Stew

Sicilian Fish Stew, with wholegrain bread and a glass of white wine.  Good!

Sicilian Fish Stew, with wholegrain bread and a glass of white wine. Good!

I’ve been trawling through the very excellent BBC Good Food website in order to learn some new healthy dishes and avoid dying of boredom while eating healthily.  I found many lovely recipes including a great one for Sicilian Fish Stew.

I tried it out, made a few tweaks, used a generous hand with the lemon juice, garlic and chilli, and was very happy with the results.  Leftovers the next day were very good, and best of all, it’s a one-pot dish.

Sicilian Fish Stew


Serves 2

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 anchovy
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 125ml white wine
  • 400ml fish, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100g couscous (wholemeal if possible)
  • 250g white fish fillets
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Pinch chilli flakes (or more to taste)
  • Black pepper


  1. Warm a little olive oil in a large saucepan. Sweat the onion and garlic until soft.
  2. Add in the tomatoes, anchovy, wine and chilli (I used about half a teaspoon). Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer the tomatoes for about 10-15 minutes until they break down.
  3. Add the stock, fish and couscous. Cook gently for about 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the couscous is tender.
  4. Squeeze in the lemon juice and decorate each helping with some lemon zest and a sprig of parsley (if, like me, you hate parsley, coriander goes well).

These quantities will make you a lovely loose, almost soup-like stew which you can eat with a spoon and mop up with bread.  If you’d prefer something a bit thicker, you could leave out the stock, simmer the tomatoes for a bit longer and cook the couscous separately.

By the way, did you know that an incredibly delicious Mediterranean fish stew is currently served in the basement of Fallon & Byrne’s on Exchequer St in Dublin?  It’s stupendously good and costs under €10.  The last time we ate there, I told Peter not to touch my bowl of stew while I went to the bathroom. He assured me that he was too full to touch it, but then when I came back he was merrily tucking in.  Fallon & Byrne is going into receivership because of unpaid tax, let’s hope they sort out their financial issues as they are a consistently good place to eat.

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