Seafood stew recipe from La Tavola is comforting, familiar

Zuppa di Pesce at La Tavola. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

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Zuppa di Pesce at La Tavola. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

La Tavola in Virginia-Highland has the best seafood stew I've ever tasted, Zuppa di Pesce, that is served with grilled bread. I hope they will share their recipe with you! — Vicky Murphy, Tallahassee

La Tavola’s executive chef Jonathan Beatty sent us this recipe and told us, “Zuppa di Pesce is one of those quintessential true Italian dishes from the southern region of Italy, more specifically the Amalfi coast near Naples. Using the entirety of all the ingredients is part of what makes it so authentically Italian and special. Any vegetable or seafood trimmings, bodies or shells you have all go into making the broth that then cooks all of the same seafood and vegetables. When you have a food cycle like that the dish is going to be great no matter what. It’s been on the menu for so long because it is something that is comforting and familiar, yet also delicious and very indicative of how the Italian culture views food and its connection with ingredients.”

Start planning your soup by gathering the seafood, then peeling the shrimp and trimming the fish, then turning those “scraps” into the base for the delicious seafood stock. If you have any stock leftover after making this dish, it’s exactly the right base for a delicious seafood chowder. Beatty says you can use any firm textured fish in the soup.

Recipe: La Tavola’s Zuppa di Pesce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 red onion, julienned
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 3 Calabrian chiles, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 3 sliced cloves garlic
  • 1 cup pureed Italian tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 8 cups Seafood Brodo (see recipe)
  • 15-20 mussels
  • 15-20 clams, scrubbed and washed
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled (shells saved for Seafood Brodo)
  • 1/2 pound fish, cut into 1-inch square pieces
  • 1/2 pound calamari, cut into rings, optional
  • Salt
  • Grilled bread, for serving
  • In a large saucepot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2 minutes or until onion turns slightly transparent. Add oregano, thyme, parsley, chiles or dried red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown. Stir in tomatoes and wine and simmer 3 minutes. Add Seafood Brodo and return mixture to a simmer. Then add mussels and clams, cover the pot, and cook until the shellfish opens, about 4 minutes. Stir in shrimp and fish and simmer until both are cooked through, about 4 minutes. If using calamari, add last and cook 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Ladle soup over grilled bread laid in the bottom of warm serving bowls and garnish with more bread, chopped parsley and drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serves: 6

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 358 calories (percent of calories from fat, 18), 47 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 6 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 259 milligrams cholesterol, 559 milligrams sodium.
Recipe: Seafood Brodo
  • Shrimp shells and fish trimmings from seafood prepared for Zuppa di Pesce
  • Lobster bodies, if available
  • 2 yellow onions, halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pureed Italian tomatoes
  • 1 small handful fresh tarragon sprigs
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Water, to cover
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Arrange shrimp shells and fish scraps (and lobster bodies, if available) on a rimmed baking sheet and roast 15 minutes.
  • In a large stock pot, combine roasted seafood with onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, tarragon, thyme, peppercorns and bay leaves. Cover with water by 3 inches. Bring to a simmer and cook 90 minutes. Strain solids from stock. May be made ahead and refrigerated up to 2 days. Makes: 12 cups

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per 1/2 cup: 17 calories (percent of calories from fat, 6), 1 gram protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), 2 milligrams cholesterol, 35 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of … La Tavola, 992 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-873-5430.

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