Recipe: San Francisco Cioppino

With the Big Game in San Francisco this weekend, what’s better than a nice, warm fish stew? The stew originally was developed by Italian fishermen from Genoa that settled near the north beach in the late 1800s. It is similar to the traditional Italian dish called “ciuppin,” but with more tomatoes and using local seafood like Dungeness crab.

Cioppino Recipe – Serves 6

Ingredients – The Seafood

  • 25 small clams in shells
  • 25 mussels
  • 1 ½ pounds – Pacific firm white fish, such as Halibut
  • 1 pound – large shrimp that has been deveined
  • ¾ pound – Dungeness crabmeat

Ingredients – The Broth

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 5 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 3 large garlic gloves
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 28 ounces canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • 14 ounces canned tomato puree
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preparation Method

  1. Clean the clams and mussels in a sink with cold water, removing any grit and the beards from the mussels. Fill the sink and any clams or mussels that float, throw away since it is bad.
  2. Small dice the onions, carrots, celery.
  3. Mince the garlic cloves.
  4. In a large pot with a lid, add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the vegetables and garlic until soft; about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, wine, clam juice, vinegar, herbs and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. While simmering, cut fish into two-inch pieces.
  7. Add the fish, mussels, clams, crabmeat and shrimp. Cover for 25 minutes. If the clams or mussels do not open, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Serve in a large bowl with fresh, local sourdough bread.

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