Recipe: Cioppino (Italian Seafood Stew)
Cioppino, a tomato-wine based seafood soup, was, according to various websites, made famous by Italian immigrants in San Francisco over 150 years ago. There are many reasons I’ve adapted this divine concoction to my own Christmas Eve tradition. First, it’s a cinch to prepare, and the broth may be made up to 48 hours in advance. It also brings an element of finger-licking, fun-loving festivity to the holiday table.
Yield: 8 servings
Cost: $55-$95 (depending on type of seafood used)
Active Time: 30 minutes
Simmer Time: 30-60 minutes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (3-4 cups), reserve fronds for garnish
- 1-2 carrots (apx. 1 cup)
- 1 onion, chopped (approx. 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice (San Marzano tomatoes preferred)
- 1 1/2 cups red or white wine
- 4 1/2 cups fish stock*
- 1 pound little neck or Manila clams, scrubbed
- 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
- 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 pound soft-fleshed fish fillets such as cod, cut into 2-inch chunks
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup torn or chopped basil
1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel, carrot and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and fennel seeds, if using, and sauté, stirring, an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30-45 minutes.
3. Add the clams and mussels to the pan; simmer, covered, 3 minutes. Add remaining seafood and simmer until the fish is just cooked through and the clams and mussels are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with kosher salt and red pepper flakes. Stir in basil.
4. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with fennel fronds and serve.
This recipe was written by Peggy Lapmpman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Dec. 16, 2010.