Cioppino: A simple, spicy Italian fish stew
One of my favourite, perfect-for-autumn comfort foods has always been cioppino. The delicious, tomato-based fish stew is like an Italian twist on a savoury Manhattan chowder.
Buy fresh fish if you’re feelin’ fancy for this stew. Live in Vancouver? Definitely check out Lonsdale, New West Quay, or Granville Island to buy your fish. Alternatively, go frozen to shave a few dollars off the meal’s cost. Personally, I’m partial to mussels, clams, scallops, and salmon, but you can mix and match different salty seafood depending on your preferences. Whatever the cornucopia of seafood ‘n’ shellfish, be sure to serve this dish with plenty of thick, crusty bread.
Unfortunately, I lost the version of the recipe I got from my dad when I was cookin’ and photographin’. I also messed up and added too much liquid to my stew, and had to toss some whole grain rice in to soak the liquid up. But, my dad’s go-to cioppino recipe is below for your benefit! Enjoy.
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 c celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 2 – 28 oz. cans roma tomatoes
- 4 c Clamato juice
- 1 c white or red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp crushed hot red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb. white fish, cut into chunks
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled
- 1/2 lb. scallops
- 1 lb. fresh mussels, in shells
- 1 lb. fresh clams, in shells
In large pot, toss a few glugs of olive oil, onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook until soft. Add canned tomatoes, Clamato, wine, and spices (bay leaves, basil, oregano, hot red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, salt and pepper). Simmer away for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
Add fish, shrimp, and scallops. Simmer about 10 more minutes. Add mussels and clams, then simmer for five more minutes. Top with chopped parsley, and slice up crusty baguette for dippin’.