Cioppino is a dish made in San Francisco. I was introduced to this dish on my first visit to the city by the bay. It was love at first sight. Cioppino is basically a seafood stew made primarily with a firm white fish, generally cod, as well as mussels and clams. I have even seen Dungeness crab used. We usually pick up what is on sale for our Cioppino. This time it was cod, shrimp, and clams.
Cioppino, in my opinion is like chili. There is a base recipe that you stick to, but it always changes. This time around, here was my recipe:
Cioppino, Part Two
1 quart homemade canned tomato sauce with Italian spices added. You could use the large can of plain from the store and add basil, oregano, thyme, and garlic to your taste.
2 cans of Chicken Broth
1 small can of tomato paste + 1 quart of water to make the paste mobile
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Olive oil for sauteing
1 tsp each oregano, thyme, and basil
1 bay leaf
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, roasted
1 cup of dry white wine
1 lb of cod, cut into medium sized chunks
1/2 lb of medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, then cut into chunks
1 dozen clams and their juice. We bought the frozen, precooked clams. Don't judge. They're going into stew, ok?
One cup of uncooked ditalini pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish
First, I brought my oven to 350 F, placed the cherry tomatoes into a 9 x 11 baking dish with one tablespoon of olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste, and roasted for one hour. I stirred them thirty minutes into the roasting process. What you would like to see after one hour is a tomato that has popped and started to caramelize a bit. Makes great pizza topping as well. But, I digress.
Next, I added two tablespoons of olive oil to my five quart dutch oven, turned the heat to medium, and added the onions, carrots, and celery with some kosher salt and ground black pepper. I sauteed until the onion started to turn translucent. Then, I added my spices and sauteed two minutes more.
Next, I deglazed the pan with the white wine, then cooked until the wine had reduced in volume by 1/2.
Next, I added my tomato sauce, tomato paste/water mixture, and chicken broth. Then I brought to a boil, reduced the heat, and simmered for one hour with the lid cracked to slightly reduce the liquid while simmering.
After the hour of simmer time, I added the pasta and seafood, brought back to a simmer, and cooked for seven more minutes. At the very end, I added my roasted cherry tomatoes and stirred to mix. That's it, ready to serve.
I topped with grated Parmesan cheese and served with a salad and crusty bread. A nice light meal during the heavy holiday meal season.
Like I said, my Cioppino is never the same twice. You could adapt this dish and make it spicy. You could add whatever seafood you like, just as long as it is of a firm variety. Take this idea a run with it.
Thanks for stopping by,