Sardinian fish stew recipe featuring gnocchetti sardi fresh pasta

Zuppa di Pesce

This delicious Sardinian seafood soup will transport you to Italy in every spoonful. Best part is its a very easy recipe to make gluten free, its naturally nut and dairy free!

Zuppa di Pesce Recipe

By Jennifer Vascotto
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4-6 adults


  • 1 Package of Trenchers Farmhouse Gnocchetti Sardi Pasta
  • 8 oz (1 large fillet) Flaky white Fish
  • about 20 pieces of Shellfish of choice
  • 10 -12 large Shrimps with shells on
  • 1 large pinch of Saffron (about .25 grams)
  • 1 cup dry White Wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6-8 cups of fish stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large yellow onions
  • 2 medium Carrots
  • 1 large bulb of Fennel
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 2 cups (28 oz) of canned tomatoes
  • 1 Tin of Sardines or Anchovies in EVOO
  • ½ cup good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 bunch of Parsley
  • Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste


  • Prep the veggies and herbs: Finely dice the onions, celery stalks and fennel. Grate or finely chop the carrot. Mince the garlic and combine together with finely chopped anchovies in the EVOO, set aside. Finely chop the parsley and set aside.
  • Prepare the Seafood: Chop the fish into 2 inch pieces. Toss lightly in salt. Peel & devein the shrimp, removing the shells and the intestinal tract along the back. Keep the shells. Chop the shrimp into 2 or 3 pieces.
  • Make the Soup: In a large stock pot over low heat. Add ¼ cup of EVOO and saute the shrimp shells until bright pink and fragrant. Remove the shell from the EVOO and place into a piece of cheesecloth with the 2 bay leaves, set aside. Add the garlic and anchovy mixture to the EVOO. Saute over low heat until translucent and fragrant with no color, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the saffron and lightly saute for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add a generous pinch of salt. Add the onions, celery, carrot and fennel mixture, turn the heat to medium low and saute with no color until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of dry white wine and reduce by ⅔, about 3-5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, the bundle of shrimp shells and stock of choice. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Add the seafood. Add the shellfish and white fish. Allow to gently simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the broth and season with salt and red wine vinegar.
  • Add the Gnocchetti Sardi and allow the mixture to simmer for about 4-6 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth bundle. Garnish with chopped parsley, a good drizzle of EVOO per bowl.
  • Buon Appetito!


Sourcing Ingredient notes:

Stock up on Stock! Can you have too much stock in your freezer? We don’t think so. We love making our own stock because it allows us to use up leftover veggies as well as control salt levels and build healthy, more flavorful soups, broths and future dishes. You can also ask your local fishmonger or butcher for their homemade stocks. OR you can make your own. We love this fish stock recipe: Fish stock is our preferred stock here followed by vegetable stock and then chicken stock. In a pinch you can use water too but it will bring a lighter less flavorful soup.

Let's talk Seafood: Using the best quality ingredients, especially seafood, is recommended. I use rockfish for this particular recipe from Honeywilla fish in VT, but you can use any firm white fish, such as haddock, hake, snapper, rockfish, monkfish, snapper, sole, or halibut. Similarly, with the other seafood ingredients, feel free to mix and match depending on what is freshest. Your best bet will be to ask your fishmonger which is freshest and go with that, there are no wrong seafood choices, use what is fresh and what YOU like.

A Note on Clams: Because clams are filter feeders, they tend to hold onto a lot of sand that needs to be removed, or purged, before you cook them. Most commercial clams will already have been purged by the time you buy them from the supermarket, however, if you are buying your clams from a farmer’s market, or a smaller seller, you may need to purge them yourself. To purge the clams, you essentially want to create the same environment as the ocean, meaning you’ll want to place them in a water bath whose salinity is equal to that of seawater (~3.5 %). Don’t use hot water! For each quart of water, you would add about 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Submerge the clams in the salt water for 1-2 hours to allow them to purge and release their sand. Changing the water 1-2 times will help remove sand, but it isn’t normally necessary

A Note on Mussels: Mussels will likely be cleaned and debearded, however, you should scrub and look them over before using and remove any beards if needed. The beard is the light-brown hairy materials on mussels that tend to be located along the base end.

Saffron - yes you can find Vermont grown saffron! Check out Calabash Gardens ( Or we love the saffron from Burlap & Barrel too. (

Let’s Make this Vegetarian! Easy peasy! We are going to substitute the stock for vegetable stock. Our favorite winter veggies for this minestrone are kales, celeriac (celery root), carrots, creamer style or fingerling potatoes, rutabaga and turnips. You will want about 3 pounds of mixed vegetables for this. You will cut these vegetables into large pieces (about 1 in each).

We also like to add a chunk of parmesan rind to the broth to add some richness and nuttiness as well as garnish with some additional parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Make the recipe Gluten Free- Snag a Box of our GF Gnocchetti Sardi Pasta
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