This Dame Cooks A Collection of Recipes from Alaska to the South Pacific and Caribbean

Cioppino – Seafood Stew

04.15.2015 · Posted in Main Dishes, Recipes

cioppinoThis San Francisco  classic dish is truly for seafood lovers.  There are as many recipes for this stew as there are cooks and the variety of seafood is truly up to you.  The San Francisco preference is Dungeness crab, steamer clams, mussels, lingcod, shrimp, scallops and squid…its the perfect seven fish dish  for Christmas Eve or any dinner party where you want WOW your guests.  Add as many kinds of seafood as you like or can find where you live. If crab isn’t available use lobster or prawns.  If lingcod isn’t available where you live, sea bass, snapper, halibut or mahi-mahi will be unctuous added to the marinara sauce.  Serve it with sourdough bread, fresh green salad and wine.  Sop up the sauce with the bread…totally worth it.  BTW, if fresh seafood isn’t available use the fresh-frozen and if you can’t find fresh or frozen clams, a can of clams can be added at the last minute.

The sauce is easy to make with fresh or canned tomatoes, onions, garlic and a few herbs.  Add a slice of fennel bulb and some tarragon if you like but don’t forget the basil and peppers.  Think Italian seasoning and you can’t go wrong.

Sauce Ingredients:   (Serves 6-8)

  •  1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley or chives
  • 1 small dried red chile or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce or homemade sauce
  • 28 oz can of San Marzano  tomatoes or 2 lbs. fresh ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup red wine, or white if you prefer
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 sprigs of oregano or 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 sprig of tarragon or 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 4-5 lbs. seafood of choice (clams, mussels, shrimp, crab claws or legs, firm white fish fillet, squid tubes and tenacles, or lobster and scallops


  1. Saute onion and garlic in oil, add bell pepper and parsley.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes with their juice.
  3. Add wine and herbs.  Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.
  4. 20 minutes before serving add the shell fish.  Cover and simmer until clams and mussels open and the crab, shrimp or lobster turns pink.
  5. Add the fish fillets, squid and scallops.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes more.
  6. Serve in pasta bowls with sourdough bread, salad and wine of choice.


  1. Don’t forget to clean the shell fish, de-beard the mussels, skin and de-bone the fish fillets.
  2. If using scallops in the shell, remove the scallops and slice in half if too big.  Save the shells for holding dipping sauces at your next Japanese dinner. Works great with sashimi, sushi, and Shabu Shabu.




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