Zarzuela is a Spanish seafood stew, a regional specialty of Catalonia. Like all seafood stews, it presents the challenge that fish cannot be slow-cooked as in most stews, or it falls apart. It also has some distinctive ingredients, such as saffron, garlic and chopped almonds.
The proper technique involves first cooking the flavoring base, then the main liquid, and the seafood separately, and combining them before serving. In the base go onion, bacon, almonds, tomato, garlic, and saffron, which are softened in olive oil, and cooked until the tomato juice has largely evaporated. Next, add wine and seafood stock. Finally, add the seafood, which usually consists of firm fish, squid, and shellfish. Finish with chopped parsley and serve with a crusty bread.