Cioppino, or San Franciso fisherman’s stew, is my favorite stew recipe of all time. If this is your first time hearing about it, then you are in for a treat because it is absolutely delicious – assuming, of course, that you like seafood (more on that in a minute). Traditionally served with toasted garlic bread or freshly sliced baguette, my favorite way to enjoy this recipe is over a scoop of buttery mashed potatoes. A stew perfect for special occasions or holidays, cioppino is easily one of the best seafood recipes that you will ever make.
Cook the vegetables (mirepoix): Cook the onions and shallots in olive oil over medium-low heat. Cook them slowly so that they’re nice and soft- about 5 minutes or so. Add the diced bell pepper and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the wine and aromatics: First, add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute or so. Mix them up really well with the onions and shallots before adding the oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Add the tomato paste. You’ll have to really mix it around to get it all mixed up with the onions. Stir continuously before adding the wine.
Add the tomatoes (and lots of them): Increase heat to high. Bring the wine to a simmer and add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, and fish/clam broth. Bring to a low boil, and cover. Simmer.
Add your favorite seafood: Once the Cioppino stock has been made, you can start adding the seafood. Start with the clams and mussels. Add them to the pot, cover them, and allow them to cook until the shells have opened. Next, add the calamari and white fish, before adding the scallops and the shrimp. Cover.
Finally, add the crab legs. Since these are already cooked, you’ll only need to cook them until they are heated through.