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    Seasonal Recipes

    Recipe: How to cook cioppino, the impressive seafood stew (that’s secretly not that hard to make)

    Claudia Catalano for The Boston Globe

    Serves 6

    Originating in San Francisco’s Italian-American community, this savory fish stew (pronounced chuh-PEA-no) can be adapted to accommodate almost any available seafood, such as crab claws, scallops, mussels, squid, or lobster. The key is variety. Don’t skip the sourdough toasts — you’ll want something to sop up the briny tomato broth.

    CIOPPINO

    3tablespoons olive oil
    1medium onion, chopped
    3cloves garlic, finely chopped
    Salt, to taste
    ½teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    2tablespoons tomato paste
    1can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
    cups dry white wine
    2bottles (8 ounces) clam juice
    12countneck clams
    1pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
    pounds firm white fish fillet (such as halibut), skinned and cut into 3-inch chunks
    ¼cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

    1. In a wide, heavy pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Add the crushed red pepper and tomato paste and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, wine, and clam juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. This can be done up to 2 hours ahead of time and kept warm, or done the day before and refrigerated.

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    2. About 15 minutes before you want to eat, return the broth to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the clams and cook until they are just beginning to open, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish and continue to cook until shrimp are pink and fish is firm and white. Taste the broth and add more salt if you like. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley and sourdough garlic toasts.

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    TOASTS

    Olive oil (for the pan)
    1loaf crusty sourdough bread, cut into ¾-inch slices
    1clove garlic, cut in half

    1. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once it is shimmering, add as many slices of bread as will fit in one layer. Cook on both sides until brown and toasted.

    2. Repeat with remaining bread and additional oil. Rub each slice with the cut side of garlic clove. Claudia Catalano

    Claudia Catalano can be reached at claudia.j.catalano@gmail.com.