Black Bass Bouillabaisse with Trofie Pasta

In this riff on bouillabaisse, pasta shapes are added to the broth just before the dish is served. Like the Provencal classic, the seafood stew has multiple layers of flavor and a saffron note. But because it calls for one kind of fish -- firm-fleshed black bass -- instead of several, it's far easier to make. Ask your fishmonger to fillet the fish, reserving the head and bones of one for the broth. Serve the stew with our Parsley-Aioli Crostini.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Serves 6
Black Bass Bouillabaisse with Trofie Pasta

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2011


  • For the broth:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 whole black bass or sea bass (about 3 pounds each), filleted, head and bones of 1 reserved, flesh cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, drained and chopped
  • 5 parsley sprigs
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads (
  • For the bouillabaisse with pasta:
  • 5 fingerling potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt
  • 12 ounces trofie (twisted pasta)
  • Garnish: flat-leaf parsley sprigs


  1. Make the broth: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add water, wine, celery, fennel, reserved black bass head and bones, canned tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, and saffron. Bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean pot; discard solids.

  2. Make the bouillabaisse: Return broth to a simmer, and add potatoes. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add black bass strips and chopped fresh tomato. Simmer until black bass is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook trofie until al dente.

  4. Drain pasta; divide among 6 bowls. Spoon bouillabaisse over pasta. Garnish with parsley.


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