Cioppino (Italian Seafood and Tomato Stew)
Cioppino is a hearty Italian seafood and tomato stew, that is flavored with floral saffron, sauteed fennel and loads of fresh seafood.
- Olive oil for sauteing
- 1 fennel bulb sliced thin
- 1 yellow onion sliced thin
- 1 shallot chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- Pinch of saffron
- Few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves removed and chopped
- Few sprigs of fresh oregano leaves removed and chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 Tb tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine Sauvignon Blanc or your favorite
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 28 oz can whole or chopped plum tomatoes I love using San Marzano
- 4 cups seafood stock
- 1-2 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
Seafood (Use any assortment of fish you have)
- 1/2 pound mussels
- 1/2 pound clams
- 10-12 Large prawns 1-2 per person
- 1 pound of fish salmon and cod, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 2 Lobster tails 1/2 per person
- Chopped parsley for garnish
First clean the fish and shellfish. Place mussels and clams in a large bowl of cold water and let them sit for 20-30 minutes. Use a brush (like a potato brush) to scrub the shells and pull the beards out of the mussels. (You can see how I did that in this recipe). Let them soak so all the sand falls to the bottom and you're ready to cook them.
Next get a large pot or dutch oven and drizzle olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot. On medium heat, add the fennel and onion and cook until lightly caramelized, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the shallots and garlic and cook for another minute or two, or until garlic lightly caramelizes. Next add the tomato paste, pinch of saffron and red pepper flakes and use a spatula to break down the tomato paste and saffron and stir together.
Add the white wine and cook until alcohol evaporates and you're left with a condensed sauce.
Once wine has reduced, add the tomatoes. If you're using whole tomatoes, use your hands to break them up (carefully not getting juice everywhere like I have) and add your seafood stock and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle boil and allow soup to cook for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper.
When adding fish, take note to add things that take longer to cook first. Add the salmon and cod first and cook for about 4 minutes (depending on how large the pieces are), then add the shrimp and lobster and cook for another 4-5 minutes and finally the mussels and clams and continues to cook until the shells open.
To serve, remove bay leaves and serve with chopped parsley and toasted bread.
For the mussels and clams, gently pick them up with your hands and don't pour the soaking water over them, since that will add the sand right back in.
Any mussels or clams that don't open should be thrown away too.
Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 1081mg | Potassium: 1106mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 421IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 4mg