After a crazy week of running around, sometimes you need to calm down, take a deep breathe, and start cooking. Sundays are often my days to rejuvenate, relax and get ready for another crazy week ahead. My husband and I like to have alone time on Sunday evenings, so what could be better then cooking for him and making one of his favorite dishes: Cioppino.
For those who don’t know, “Cioppino” is an Italian seafood stew. It was developed in the late 1800s by Italian fishermen who settled in the North Beach section of San Francisco. Originally it was made on the boats while out at sea and later became a staple as Italian restaurants proliferated in San Francisco. It was made with the catch of the day plus any leftover seafood they had available.
For my version of cioppino, I use scallops, shrimp, calamari, mussels, and white fish. You can make the base ahead of time and add the seafood at the last moment. You can also make it as spicy as you’d like. I like my food spicy, so my cioppino was on the hotter side. This rich tomato-based stew tastes tangy and spicy and you could actually choose to serve it over pasta if you’d like. I like to serve it with a piece of toasted focaccia bread.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups yellow onion small dice
- 1 1/2 cups carrots small dice
- 1 cup celery small dice
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Sicilian dried herbs
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 8 oz. bottles clam juice
- 1 14 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup fish stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound mussels cleaned and de bearded
- 1/2 pound sea scallops
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp cleaned and peeled
- 1/2 pound squid body and tentacles body cut into 1/2 inch rings
- 3/4 pound white fish cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 loaf of focaccia bread toasted
- In a large casserole, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until hot. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Sweat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add Sicilian dried herbs, red pepper flakes, and fresh thyme.
- Add the white wine and let it reduce for 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes, tomato paste, and fish stock. Stir until well combined and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- Add all the seafood, cover, and cook the until just tender, and mussels have opened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with toasted focaccia bread to dip into the broth.
- Serve immediately.
I’d love to hear about your favorite version of seafood stew in the comments section below!