Patrick’s Venetian Stew

The dinner spread, complete with a fresh loaf of bread and local caciotta cheese.

My parents’ visit to Seattle just wrapped up today, and I am already feeling nostalgic for adventures and meals that we shared over the past week!  Alex and I re-visited a few of our favorite Seattle restaurants, and I had the chance to show my parents some touristy destinations that wanted to check out.

During our visit, the most noteworthy meal that we cooked at home was a rendition of Patrick’s Venetian Stew recipe.  A list of simple ingredients was brought to full, flavorful life with the help of PCC’s rich produce and seafood selection.  Mom and I prepared the base for the Venetian stew on Monday morning and let it simmer for a full hour before saving it in the fridge over the course of the day (about 7 hours).  In the evening, we took about twenty minutes to prepare the pasta, shrimp and scallops.  Overall, this meal takes just about 45 minutes to put together, but works well as a “make-ahead meal” because the tomatoes soak up the wonderful garlic, wine and butter flavors.  After our meal, we stayed with the local theme and enjoyed Theo’s dark chocolate for dessert.

Thank you to Patrick for sharing his family recipe!  This meal is best enjoyed with great friends and family, so we called for enough ingredients to feed eight or more guests.


Patrick’s Venetian Stew – serves 8 to 10

Mom and I substituted gluten-free flour and brown rice pasta to make this recipe gluten-free.  I served my dinner with a side of rustic bread and we both recommend topping the dish with cheese!  I love garlic and hot red pepper flakes in this meal, so I tend to use even more of each ingredient than listed below.  When we cooked this dish, we left the seafood preparation until just before we were ready to serve dinner.  For this blog post, however, I have re-written the steps using Patrick’s directions, to stay true to his recipe.  Most of the words and advice below were written by Patrick, but Mom and I added the red pepper by a happy accident, and are keeping the addition for next time.

You will need: fullsizerender-3

  1. salt and pepper, to taste
  2. 2 T all purpose flour
  3. 2 lb scallops
  4. 2 T butter
  5. 1/4 C olive oil, plus 2 T
  6. 1 C dry white wine
  7. 3/4 C chicken broth
  8. shallots and/or one sweet onion, diced
  9. 3 t hot red pepper flakes (more or less per your tastes)
  10. 1 red pepper, diced
  11. 8 (or more) chopped garlic cloves
  12. 2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, drained
  13. 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  14. 2 28 oz cans tomato puree
  15. 1/2 C sugar
  16. 2 lb shrimp


  1. Begin by chopping your onion/shallots, red pepper and garlic.  Set aside.
  2. Peel and devein shrimp, set aside.
  3. Season and lightly flour scallops.  Heat olive oil in a large pot and lightly brown scallops for about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove scallops and set aside.
  4. Add a little more olive oil and white wine to your pot, and let reduce at medium-high heat.
  5. Add butter, chicken broth, shallots/onion, red pepper, garlic and hot red pepper flakes.  Cook until shallots/onion are done (5-8 minutes).
  6. Drain off whole tomatoes and crush by hand.
  7. Add all canned tomatoes to your pot, combining with salt and pepper to taste.  Add sugar to reduce the acidity.
  8. Bring to a simmer and add shrimp.  Stir to combine, checking shrimp opacity for doneness.  Just before shrimp are done, add scallops back in.
  9. Let simmer on very low heat for about an hour.

Optional: Serve over pasta and/or with a loaf of Italian bread.  (And of course, red wine!)

Salmon Series Part One: Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto

Posing with the final product!

After our last day of racing at the Olympic Trials, my parents took my husband Alex, me and Jess out to eat in St. Armand’s Circle. We picked an Italian restaurant that had caught my eye the previous week when Jess and I were on more stringent meal plans. After several days of racing, I was craving a hearty, warm meal, and savored the salmon risotto that I ordered for lunch. After the meal, we stopped by Kilwin’s for ice cream, at my sister-in-law Becky’s recommendation. I ordered the Heavenly Hash flavor, which I had not come across since college!

This blog entry is the first in a series of six ways to prepare salmon. Salmon is one of the staples in the Taylor kitchen, and Jess’s boyfriend Austin recently requested my top three salmon recipes. There are so many favorites to chose from, so why not six?

For my birthday eve meal, Alex and I cooked our own version of salmon risotto. We loaded up our risotto with as many veggies as possible, and used the Persian spice zarchobeh for extra flavor and color. We broiled two small filets of salmon, and added the cooked salmon after the Arborio rice had absorbed all of our cooking liquid.


Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto – serves 4 to 6

We used 1/2 stick of butter as recommended in the “Wild mushroom risotto with peas” recipe by Giada de Laurentiis in “Everyday Italian,” but you could get away with using half that amount.  Allow a full hour for cooking this meal; the risotto alone takes at least 30 minutes, and you will want to be patient while all cooking liquids get absorbed.  White wine is traditionally a popular addition to risotto.  If you want to use white wine, pick a dry wine and add just 2/3 of a cup after you add your Arborio rice.

You will need:13100965_10206263031229973_6779215179086965754_n

  1. 1 lb of salmon
  2. ½ T dried basil
  3. ½ T garlic salt
  4. ½ T black pepper
  5. ½ stick of butter
  6. 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  7. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  8. 1 or 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  9. 1 C white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  10. 1 ½ C Arborio rice
  11. 32 oz chicken broth
  12. ½ T cayenne pepper
  13. 1 T zarchobeh or turmeric
  14. 1 can artichoke hearts
  15. 1 C frozen peas
  16. 12 cherry tomatoes
  17. 1 handful fresh basil, washed and torn
  18. ¼ C shredded parmesan



  1. Add half of your dried basil, garlic salt and black pepper to the bottom of an oven-safe ceramic dish. Place salmon filets on top of spices, skin down, and add the remaining basil, garlic salt and pepper to the top of the filets.
  2. Broil salmon for approximately 20 minutes on high.
  3. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced red onion as soon as butter has melted, and stir for five minutes until the slices begin to soften.
  4. Add chopped garlic and thinly sliced red peppers to your pan, stirring to combine. After a few more minutes, add chopped mushrooms.
  5. When mushrooms begin to darken, add your Arborio rice to the mix.
  6. Start adding chicken broth by the cupful, and stir while broth is absorbed by rice (about 5 minutes per cup of broth).
  7. After you have added three cups of broth, add your cayenne pepper and zarchobeh or turmeric. Add your final cup of broth.
  8. When your broth has mostly been absorbed, add canned artichoke hearts, peas, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine for about five minutes or until all ingredients have heated through. Finally, add shredded parmesan and stir to combine evenly.

The first risotto recipe I ever followed came from Giada’s cookbook.  Patrick and I made the “wild mushroom risotto with peas” found on page 131 of “Everyday Italian.”  I followed the sequence of Giada’s recipe loosely when I created this dish.

Source: Laurentiis, Giada De. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2005. Print.