Arrabbiata, a spicy sauce of garlic, tomato, and chile pepper, forms the base for this stew. You can substitute cod or shrimp for the tilapia. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
1 large fennel bulb with stalks
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups bottled arrabbiata sauce (such as Rao's)
1/2 cup water
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
How to Make It
Trim tough outer leaves from fennel; mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Remove and discard the stalks. Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise; discard core. Thinly slice fennel bulb. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sliced fennel; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 4 minutes or until fennel is crisp-tender. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add arrabbiata sauce, 1/2 cup water, and clam juice to pan; simmer 5 minutes. Add tilapia to pan; cover and simmer 4 minutes or until done. Divide stew among 4 bowls, and sprinkle evenly with the reserved fennel fronds.
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This is a very spicy dish. All one tastes is the heat; there are no nuances of flavor. Why spend $2 on fennel when the flavor is entirely lost? Try cabbage instead. $9 for the arrabbiata sauce, $3 for the clam juice, $2 for the fennel, $7 for the tilapia...a lot of money for a disappointing dish. I found this recipe in the "until June, 26,1 2014" issue of Cooking Light All-Time Top-Rated Recipes magazine... And I paid $12 for that! How did this recipe receive "best" status? By the way, I do enjoy spicy foods.
I subsituted tilapia with monkfish (great firm fish, perfect for a stew) since my fishmonger hadn't any and it was very tasty. I will do it again. I served with with boiled potatoes and had a nice piece of bread to soak the juices.
This was quick and easy and my husband and son loved it. I used Trader Joe's Arrabbiata sauce and added red potatoes that I quartered and boiled in salted water until tender. I served it with a green salad and crusty bread. I will definitely make this again.
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