Striped Bass with Spicy Tomato Broth, Toasted Fregola & Local Clams

Celebrate the flavors of fall with this recipe by The Osprey's Executive Chef, Denevin Miranda.

Published on: October 6, 2020

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Striped Bass with Spicy Tomato Broth, Toasted Fregola & Local Clams

Ingredients
2 striped bass filets, skin-on and scaled
12 littleneck clams
3 cups spicy tomato broth
1 cup cooked fregola
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fennel fronds for garnish
 
For Spicy Tomato Broth
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion or shallot, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tbsp Calabrian chilies, chopped or chili flakes
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine 
4 cups fish stock
1 can whole tomato with liquid
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
1. Start by preparing the tomato broth. In a large pot over medium heat, sweat the onion, garlic, and chili in the olive oil until onion is translucent.
2. Add celery and fennel, and continue to sweat until vegetables become softened.
3. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes until it begins to caramelize on the bottom of the pan.
4. Deglaze with white wine and cook out the alcohol.
5. Add fish stock, tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.
6. Season the broth with salt and pepper. You can leave vegetables in broth for a “rustic” style or strain out. Reserve for later.
7. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat a few teaspoons of a neutral cooking oil.
8. Pat the skin of the fish dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Place fish skin side down in the pan and press firmly on top of the fish with a spatula to prevent it from curling up, then reduce heat to medium low. Sear until sides of fish appear browned, about 3-4 minutes. Then gently flip fish over to finish cooking the other side for an additional 2 minutes. Remove fish from pan and set aside.
9. Wipe the pan out from the oil, and add clams and tomato broth. Cook clams until opened, and discard any that remain closed.
10. In a serving bowl, place a bed of cooked fregola and then fish filet on top. Arrange clams around the fish and ladle broth around. Garnish with fennel fronds or herbs and a little olive oil over the top, and serve immediately. 
 
Cooking Fregola
Toast the fregola in a sauté pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, and cook until fragrant and nutty. Boil fregola in a pot of salted water until desired doneness, then drain in colander and toss with a little oil to prevent from sticking together.

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