I’m going to jump right into this. If you like seafood, then you need to make this stew. The slow simmer marries all the flavors together and develops the stew into a luxurious flavor burst that will make your taste buds dance! I the words of Nike – just do it.
Quick Cioppino history
The word cioppino is Italian and in simple terms translates to ‘chopped’. Back in the 1800’s Italians immigrated to San Francisco and worked as fishermen. Well after the fishermen sold their catch they would use any leftovers to make this flavorful stew. I love a story like this, resourceful people using what they had to survive and now you find this classic dish (preserved in history) in upscale Italian restaurants across the country.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup tomato paste – I like Amore
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1+1/2 cups dry white wine
- 4 cups fish stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound clams, scrubbed
- 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
- 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 large scallops
- 1 pound firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon cut into 2-inch chunks
- crunchy Italian bread with butter
- cooked spaghetti
- Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, salt and pepper and saute until the onion is translucent and the pepper is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock, and bay leaf, and a pinch more salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover partially with a lid. Simmer until liquid has reduced and thickened slightly, about 30 minutes. Note – this is when all the flavors develop, don’t rush this part and if you have time to wait 45 minutes, all the better.
- Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. (Note: clams take a bit longer than the muscles to open). Next, add the shrimp, scallops, and fish. Simmer gently until all seafood is cooked through, and the clams are completely open, discard any clams and mussels that do not open.
- Season the soup, to taste, with more salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with bread and/or spaghetti.
Keywords: soup, stew, shrimp, clams, muscles, scallops, seafood, cioppino, fisherman’s stew, sea bass, fish