The first time I tried cioppino was when I was in San Francisco which is where it’s known to have started. It’s also one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!
The story is that this spicy soup gets it’s name from the italian fisherman in the 1800’s calling to other fisherman to “chip in” a portion of their days catch to the pot so everyone could eat. There are many ways to make cioppino and you can use any number of varieties of fish and seafood. I like it spicy and and am a fan of shellfish so I use as many shellfish as I can find at my local market.
1 large onion diced
1 celery rib chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbls butter
2 cups white wine
2 cups fish or chicken stock
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I use a full tsp)
1 Tbls Parsley
Salt to taste
As I said earlier, you can combine any number of different seafood varieties. I’m using:
1 dozen little neck clams (in the shell)
2 lbs mussels (in shell)
1/2 lb cod or halibut cut I to 1 inch pieces
1 lb king crab legs (snow crab works well too)
1/2 lb large shrimp (with shells)
1/2 lb jumbo bay scallops
In a large pot add olive oil and butter and melt the butter, add onion and celery and sauté until soft. Once soft add all other ingredients except the seafood, turn heat on low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
Add crab, fish, scallops and cook for 5 minutes covered. Add mussels and clams and cover. Simmer until mussels and clams open entirely. This can take 5-10 minutes. The clams should take longer than the mussels but that’s fine while the clams are cooking the mussels will stew in the sauce and get a great flavor! Add the Shrimp just after the clams and mussels begin to open and cook until they tuen pink. Add the fresh parsley at the very end.
Serve this with a nice piece of crusty bread and add hot sauce for a spicy kick!
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