Basque Seafood Stew


1 lb baby octopus
1 lb firm white fish, such as seabass
1/2 lb shrimp
1/2 lb bay scallops
1/4 cup olive oil
2 chopped medium onions
2 chopped celery stalks
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 t. hot paprika or Espelette pepper
1 T. sweet paprika
1 wineglass full of dry white wine
1 qt. fish stock (or chicken, or water)

  • 5 Italian plum tomatoes, chopped and seeded

  • 6 chopped sage leaves

  • 1 T. chopped fresh rosemary

  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 T. chopped basil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Lemon juice


Cut the octopi into large pieces. Slice the fish into 1-2 inch cubes. Peel the shrimp and wash the scallops. Toss each of them with some salt and set aside — separately.
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large stew pot over medium-high heat for a minute or two, then add the onion and celery. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then add the green and red bell peppers and the baby octopus.
Saute the octopus, peppers and onion for a minute or two, then add the garlic and mix well. Cook for one minute, then turn the heat up all the way and add the white wine.
Mix well, and add the hot and sweet paprika and mix again. Let the mixture boil fiercely until half the wine is boiled away.
Add the chopped sage and rosemary, then the fish stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let this cook for 35-40 minutes.
Test for salt and add if needed. Test a piece of octopus: if it is tender, proceed. If not, cook a bit longer.
Once the octopus is tender, add the tomatoes, the shrimp, fish and scallops, then add half the parsley. Cook this at a simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Add the rest of the parsley and the basil. Stir to combine and serve.