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You'll need

75 gm fregola (see note) 2 tbsp olive oil 4 anchovy fillets 1 onion, finely diced 1 fennel bulb, finely diced 1 carrot, finely diced 1 celery stalk, finely diced 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 6 basil leaves, plus extra to serve ½ bunch thyme leaves 1 tbsp tomato paste ½ tsp each dried chilli flakes and fennel seeds 200 ml vermouth 12 black mussels, scrubbed 12 green tiger prawns, peeled (heads and shells reserved), intestinal tract removed, tail intact 6 Balmain bug tails, peeled (heads and shells reserved) To serve: extra-virgin olive oil   Prawn stock ½ tbsp olive oil ½ onion, coarsely chopped ½ carrot, coarsely chopped ½ celery stalk, coarsely chopped ½ tbsp tomato paste 50 ml brandy Pinch saffron threads


  • 01
  • For prawn stock, preheat oven to 190C. Place prawn shells and bug shells in a large roasting pan, roast until brown (15-20 mins). Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add vegetables, stir frequently until brown (3-5 minutes), add tomato paste, stir frequently until thick (2 mins). Add roasted shells, deglaze with brandy, add enough water to cover shells by 1cm (about 2 litres), bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cook until infused (30 mins). Strain through a fine sieve (discard solids), season to taste, add saffron, set aside.
  • 02
  • Cook fregola in a saucepan of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally until tender (8-10 mins). Drain, refresh and set aside.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add anchovies, stir occasionally to break down (2-3 mins). Add vegetables, garlic and herbs, stir occasionally until soft (5-7 mins). Add tomato paste and spices, stir often until thick (2-3 mins). Deglaze with vermouth, reduce liquid by half (2-3 mins), add prawn stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender (15-20 mins). Add seafood, cook until pink and just cooked through (3-4 mins). Stir through fregola, divide among bowls, scatter with extra basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste and serve immediately.
Note Fregola is a Sardinian pasta made from coarse semolina. It is available from David Jones and select delicatessens.

“I love the seafood-based broth Tobias Gush makes at Chianti Classico in Adelaide. Could you publish the recipe so I can make it myself?”
Kylie Menzel, North Adelaide, SA

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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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