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Italian Fish Stew with Pancetta and Garlic

by Cara Hobday from The Complete Slow Cooker Cookbook

This simple recipe for slow-cooked Italian fish stew with pancetta and garlic is packed with delicious flavours, making it a wonderfully comforting dish that is easy to prepare and will please a crowd.


This is a really delicious way to eat squid, that economical and often overlooked seafood. If you are lucky enough to have a fish shop near you, buy a fresh large squid and ask the fishmonger to clean it for you. Don’t skimp on the crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.

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4 tbsp olive oil
100g smoked pancetta, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
300g swordfish fillets
200ml white wine
450g squid tubes, cut into rings
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp finely chopped flat leafed parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread, to serve

Essential kit

You will need: a slow cooker.

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1. Heat half the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the pancetta and garlic for about 2 minutes, to soften. Stir in the chilli flakes and chopped tomatoes and heat through for about 3 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.

2. Heat the remaining oil over a high heat in the frying pan, season the swordfish and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Add to the contents of the slow cooker.

3. Pour the wine into the hot pan, simmer for a couple of minutes, then add to the slow cooker. Finally, add the squid and season well. Cook for 4 hours on the high setting or 8 hours on low.

4. To finish, mix together the lemon zest and parsley and sprinkle over the stew. Serve in shallow bowls or on deep plates with crusty bread.

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