Via: Alan Rosenthal
- 125 g blanched almonds or hazelnuts
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp crushed dried chillies
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 1/2 red peppers, finely sliced lengthways
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 2 pinches of saffron strands
- 45 ml brandy
- 150 g chopped tomatoes
- 275 ml white wine
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 700 g firm, thick white fish fillets (monkfish, haddock or cod), cut into 5-7cm pieces
- 4 large raw prawns, shells on
- 12 mussels, scrubbed and cleaned
- 12 clams, scrubbed and cleaned
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
Begin by toasting the nuts. Scatter them over a baking tray and pop in the oven at 180ºC/gas mark 4 for around 10 minutes until golden. Stir them a couple of times so that they brown evenly and make sure you keep an eye on them otherwise they’ll burn. Allow to cool and then grind the nuts using a mortar and pestle or a food processor. They don’t have to be finely ground, but try to avoid any large lumps.
In a wide, non-stick frying pan that has a lid, heat the oil and gently fry the garlic, dried chillies and bay leaf for 2–3 minutes until the garlic starts to turn golden. Lower the heat and add the onion and red peppers. Gently cook for 15–20 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
Stir in the smoked paprika and saffron and continue to cook for a couple of minutes so the spices can release their flavours. Add the brandy and boil for a minute or so until nearly evaporated and then add the tomatoes. Cook gently for a further 5 minutes before adding the wine, a few pinches of salt and some black pepper. Cook gently for a further 7–10 minutes until the tomatoes have completely broken down.
Lower the heat and add the ground nuts to the dish. Season the pieces of fish with a little salt before pushing them into the sauce, along with the prawns, mussels and clams. Cover with a lid.
Cook gently for 5–7 minutes until the fish is just cooked and the shells of the mussels and clams have opened. Discard any shells that have not opened. Test for seasoning before gently stirring the parsley through and squeezing the lemon juice over the dish.
Serve in bowls with crusty bread.
Via: Alan Rosenthal