Since fish and shellfish cook so quickly, this tomato, wine and herb rague is one of the quickest stews to make. It's a good dish to make for skiers or skaters or just a hungry family who likes a savoury supper. If mussels are hard to find, use an extra 1/2 lb (250 g) of fish.
- Portion size 6 servings
In large heavy saucepan, heat oil and saute onions, pepper and garlic until tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in fennel, marjoram, basil, parsley, bay leaves, salt, pepper and Tabasco.
Chop tomatoes coarsely and mix into onion mixture, along with wine and tomato paste. Bring to gentle boil and adjust heat so sauce simmers, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir frequently.
Scrub mussels with firm brush or nylon scouring pad and cut off beards. Cut fish into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Check fish for any small bones and remove.
Bury mussels in the sauce, cover pan and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir well, add fish and spoon sauce over. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over gentle heat until fish is opaque and mussels open (discard any that remain closed).
Taste soup and add more seasoning if desired. Gently mix in olives and garnish with parsley sprigs.