Friday, August 25, 2017

Cioppino - Updated!

Cioppino - my go-to for feeding a crowd at our beach house. Instant party - and so easy and festive with fun dinnerware and coastal themed glassware.

Keep in mind, that this recipe began its' life on the docks of San Francisco's Fishermans Wharf; the fleet would gather and "chip-in" whatever they could spare from their days' catch to create this incredible delish "stew".

My best advice? Use whatever seafood is in season in your area, and feel free to substitute or adjust the amounts. They key is to simply NOT overcook the seafood.  There is nothing worse than overcooked rubbery prawns or scallops.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 chopped yellow onion (sweet if they are available)
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic (or 2 large)
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 chopped yellow, red, orange, or green bell pepper.  (I am partial to yellow for the color!)
  • 1 + cup of white wine (more if you want!)
  • 4 cups chicken stock, or clam stock if you would like.  
  • 1 large can of Italian Style diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley - love the Italian flat parsley for this recipe!
  • 1 T. oregano (fresh or dried)
  • 1 T. thyme (fresh or dried)3 T. basil, or simply chop and throw in fresh basil to taste
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Now for the seafood: Feel free to substitute or eliminate any of these choices!

  • 1/2 lb of fish, cut into bite size chunks. Can be any kind of fish, cod, snapper, salmon - just make sure to remove the bones!
  • 1.5 lbs of  steamer clams
  • 1.5 lbs of mussels cleaned and debeared
  • 12-18 large prawns
  • Calamari (squid) if you have available
  • Bay Scallops or Large Scallops
  • 1 cooked Dungeness crab or cooked Lobster. Cleaned, cracked and divided into serving size pieces
  • 12 oysters (I don't use these, but you might like them)
  • 6-8 oz. bay shrimp

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot, (love my Le Creuset dutch oven!) add chopped yellow onion and saute' for a minute or so. Add dried red pepper flakes and saute' while onions are getting carmelized. 1-2 minutes
  2. Add minced garlic and saute with onions and dried red pepper for another 3-4 minutes. Then add chopped bell pepper (in your color choice!). Continue cooking over medium heat until tender and lightly browned. Add canned tomatoes, wine, chicken/clam stock and bring to a boil.  
  3. Add tomato paste, bay leaves, then lower heat to simmer. Cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add parsley, oregano, thyme and basil and continue simmering for 30-45 minutes, or until sauce is thick and rich.  
  4. Add fish - cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then toss is the clams and mussels, after about 5 more minutes add the prawns, scallops, calamari (and shucked oysters if you want). Bay Shrimp and crab goes in last as it's already cooked and there is no need to overcook it.  Cover the pot, and continue simmering until the clams and mussels have opened and the remaining seafood is cooked through, approximately 10 minutes longer.

Because this is a "San Francisco" treat, and because we have such wonderful local Half Moon Bay bakeries, we make sourdough grilled toast slices to serve with the Cioppino. So yummy to dip into the stew!   Parmesan is also a great topping for the Cioppino if you like. 

Serve with a lovely white wine.  Absolutely your choice, but Tom and I recommend serving a really good chilled Chardonnay, as it complements the tomato base and and the rich seafood.  Voila' now your party is ready for guests!

Our Octopus Bowls? So glad you asked! We used our Octopus Dinnerware from Abbiamo Tutto - absolutely incredible Italian hand painted dinnerware that I thought would match perfectly with our Italian fisherman inspired dinner party.

Have a great weekend!

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