Sicilian Fisherman’s Stew

Stirrin' It Up: Sicilian Fisherman’s Stew (August 23, 2022).
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 3:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Sicilian fishermen arrived in New Orleans from Palermo in the late 1800s. They came following American Civil War to become laborers in the sugar cane fields, dock workers, and fishermen. This is one of the many recipes they contributed to our culinary gumbo.

Prep Time: 45 Minutes

Yields: 6–8 Servings


1 pound redfish or snapper, cubed

1 pound (21–25 count) shrimp, head-on, peeled and deveined

2 dozen oysters, liquid reserved

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup thinly sliced garlic

1 cup thinly sliced onions

1 (16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with juice

1½ cups sea water or seafood broth

1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans) or Great Northern beans

1 bay leaf

¼ cup chopped basil

Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Juice of ½ lime

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

1 pound penne pasta, cooked


In a 1-gallon Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1–2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not brown. Add onions and cook until wilted, 3–5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and seawater. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 7–10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, bay leaf and basil then cook for 3–5 minutes. Season to taste using salt, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lime juice. Cook until liquid is reduced by half volume. Add cubed fish, shrimp, oysters, and oyster liquid. Cook until fish is tender and shrimp are pink and curled 5–7 minutes. Add green onions and adjust seasonings if necessary. Once fish is cooked thoroughly, remove and discard bay leaf. Add pasta and cook until heated through. Serve with an equal portion of pasta and seafood.

Click here to report a typo.