Cioppino, a hearty Italian-American stew made with a medley of fresh seafood in a rich tomato and wine broth, perfectly captures the taste of the sea.
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ⅔ cup finely chopped shallots, from about 3 shallots
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (8 oz) bottles clam juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1¾ teaspoons salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 7 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thym
- 1½ pounds firm-fleshed fish fillets, such as halibut, cod, salmon, snapper, etc., cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1½ pounds (about 18) littleneck clams, scrubbed (see note)
- 1½ pounds extra large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Fresh chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat ¼ cup of the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Do not brown.
- Add the wine and increase the heat to high. Boil until the wine is reduced by about half, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, clam juice, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme sprigs, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, while the stew is simmering, toss the fish with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Arrange the fish on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until just cooked through. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
- When the stew is done simmering, remove and discard the thyme sprigs and stir in the butter. Add the clams and bring the stew back to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 6 minutes, until the clams have mostly opened. Gently stir in the shrimp and bring the stew back to a simmer; cover and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through and the clams are completely opened, about 5 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. Add the chopped thyme, then taste the stew and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Divide the warm fish into serving bowls. Ladle the stew over top, dividing the clams and shrimp evenly amongst the bowls. Garnish with parsley, if using, and serve with garlic bread, focaccia, or a baguette for sopping up the broth. Set out a second bowl for shells and plenty of napkins.
- Make Ahead: The stew, without seafood, can be made 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator, covered. When ready to serve, bake the fish and bring the stew to a simmer before adding the seafood.
- Note: Littleneck clams are readily available at most supermarkets and are usually sold in a mesh bag because they are alive and need to breathe. If your fishmonger places them in a plastic bag, remove them from the bag immediately when you get home from the supermarket and place them in a bowl covered with a damp cloth in the refrigerator. To prepare the clams for cooking, first, check that they are alive by making sure all of the shells are tightly closed. If any clams are open, gently tap them against the countertop; if they are alive, they will close their shells. Discard any clams that do not close their shells or that have cracked or chipped shells. To clean, place all of the clams in a bowl and cover them with cool tap water. Let the clams sit for 20 minutes to an hour. During this time, the clams will expel sand from inside their shells. When you’re ready to cook, lift each clam from the water and rinse it, scrubbing if necessary, to get rid of any grit from the surface. (Note that most supermarkets sell farm-raised clams, which are already quite clean, so you may not find a lot of grit or sand.)
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Fat:23 g
- Saturated fat:6 g
- Carbohydrates:20 g
- Sugar:9 g
- Fiber:4 g
- Protein:69 g
- Sodium:2327 mg
- Cholesterol:287 mg