500g/1lb 2oz baby San Marzano or Datterini tomatoes, puréed
200g/7oz monkfish fillet, trimmed
150g/5½oz red mullet fillet
200g/7oz sea bass or sea bream fillet
2 garlic cloves, 1 finely chopped and 1 halved
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
pinch dried chilli flakes or chilli powder
1 small ciabatta loaf, cut into 2cm/¾in slices and toasted
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the prawns and take off their heads. Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and add the prawn heads and shells. Cook for 3 minutes until the shells and heads go pink. Add the celery, fennel, fennel seeds, carrot, bay leaf, leek, white wine and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes and then add 750ml/1¼ pint water. Bring to a simmer, skim and leave to cook for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, discard the prawn heads and shells and cooked vegetables and set the strained prawn stock aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid. Discard any clams or mussels with broken shells and any that refuse to close when tapped. Add the clams, mussels and peeled prawns to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until the seafood starts to open and the prawns are cooked. Discard any clams or mussels that remain closed.
Place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender and blitz to a purée. Add the puréed tomatoes to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Add 4 ladles of the prawn stock to the pan and then carefully place the monkfish, red mullet and sea bass fillets on top. Place a lid on the sauté pan and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the finely chopped garlic, parsley and chilli. Cook for a further 2 minutes or until you can put a toothpick through the fish without any resistance. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lightly toast the ciabatta slices, then drizzle with olive oil and rub with the other garlic clove. Serve the stew in hot bowls with the toasted ciabatta slices.
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