As the air turns crisp, and the days become shorter, I am drawn to simple, rustic recipes that promise warmth and nourishment. One of my favorite such recipes is Cioppino (say it with me now..."chop-EE-no"), a traditional Italian (by way of San Francisco) fish stew. It is sometimes called Fisherman's Stew because it was first created by Italian fisherman who had settled in the Bay Area as a delicious and simple way to cook up the catch of the day. The briny, garlicky tomato broth is exactly what I crave on chilly autumn days.

This past Sunday, I decided to make a big pot of the stuff, and it was so delicious that I wanted to share the recipe I used, which I adapted from this recipe.

(I prefer mine with scallops, shrimp, and clams, but you can use almost any kind of seafood in this. A mild fish like halibut or red snapper would work well. You might also try crab, mussels, or calamari.)

We put ours over some fresh egg linguine (our Whole Foods has a fresh pasta bar), and it was absolutely divine. The linguine soaked up the sauce without getting mushy. I sliced up some Italian bread for dunking up the extra sauce.

Cioppino (serves 6)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (you could use red for a richer, fruitier taste)
1 (16-oz) can chopped plum tomatoes (I like the Pomi or San Marzano brand, found at Whole Foods and specialty food stores)

1 (16-oz) can tomato puree (again, Pomi or San Marzano)
2 cups seafood stock (can be bought pre-made in the soup aisle) or clam juice
20 small (2-inch) hard-shelled clams such as littlenecks, scrubbed
1 pound large shrimp (16 to 20), shelled and deveined
3/4 pound bay scallops (or sea scallops if you prefer)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
Garnish: shredded fresh basil leaves and small whole leaves

Cook garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, sage, rosemary, and red pepper flakes in olive oil in an large pot over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes (both cans) with their juice, seafood stock or claim juice, and broth and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While stew is simmering, get your seafood out of the fride and ready to go. Add clams to stew and simmer, covered, until clams just open, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every minute after 5 minutes and transferring opened clams to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon. (Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.) Lightly season shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot and gently stir in parsley and basil.

Serve immediately in large soup bowls.
Image via Epicurious.


Rachel said...

Y-U-M ! :)

Icarusintel said...

It was most definitely super delicious. I can't wait until you feel like making it again. Perhaps with some sort of fish next time, or calamari.

Melita said...

you make my heart go pitter patter haha. that recipe looks amazing. thanks for sharing :)

My delicious blog said...

This looks delicious!


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