Cioppino

The first time I ever had Cioppino was in San Francisco and fell in love with it.  My recipe has changed, I think yearly. It’s Italian fish stew. Its my home run main course when I entertain

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup olive oil

2-4 tsp. finely chopped garlic 

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

4 cups canned roma tomatoes 

1½ cups fish stock or bottled clam juice

small can of tomato paste

2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried basil 

16 little neck or other clams, soaked and rinsed

1 lb of cleaned and cut up squid or octopus 

16 mussels, scrubbed clean and debearded 

8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined 

1-1/2 lb crab legs

1 pound non-oily fish fillets (such as cod, red snapper or flounder), cut into finger-size strips or chunks 

½ cup dry white wine, such as chardonnay, pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc 

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place a large, 12- to 14-inch skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes. When hot, add the olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook just until the garlic softens slightly, 1 minute, but do not let it brown. (*** I sometimes add a little crab meat, a can of minced clams and a piece of flaky white fish at this point top give the broth a seafood taste)
  1. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce, fish stock, parsley, thyme and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium-high and add the clams and mussels. Leave covered and cook about 5 to 7 minutes, until the shells open. Discard any shellfish that have not opened after 7 minutes; they could be spoiled.
  1. Add the shrimp, squid, crab legs, fish, white wine and ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Cover and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes more, or just until all the seafood is cooked through, the shrimp and fish will be opaque. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  1. Ladle the fish and broth into wide flat soup bowls. Serve with crusty Italian bread or of course, garlic bread