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I love having friends over for dinner, but it’s hard to get everyone together on the same schedule as what is convenient for us. Sometimes friends can only come over during the week as our weekends can be incredibly busy, so I’m always on the lookout for fast and delicious recipes I can treat my friends to.

On one of these weekday get togethers, I made a delicious mussel and squid stew served on top of polenta, and it has quickly be one one of my favourite recipes. The thing about fresh shellfish is that there is so much flavor in their natural brine that there is no need for fancy spices or complex cooking techniques.

Outside of the seafood, there are only a few ingredients that goes into the sauce. Diced onions are sautéed in a large pot with olive oil over medium heat until softened.

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Add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant.

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Add canned diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Stir in white wine and cook for a few more minutes.

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Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Bring chicken broth and water to a boil. The recipe called for milk, which I did not have, so I just substituted more chicken broth. Gradually whisk in the polenta.

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Cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta thickens.

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Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm while finishing the seafood stew.

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Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer, add the squid and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the mussels, cover, and cook until the mussels open.

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Sprinkle the stew with chopped parsley and serve spooned over the polenta. This hearty seafood dish goes well with either red or white wine.

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Shellfish tomato Stew with Polenta

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