Cioppino is a seafood stew with a hearty tomato, garlic, wine and fennel broth served with any combination of fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, calamari… This dish is relatively simple, but the ingredients come together in such a fantastic way.
Since the dish is simple, all the ingredients need to be there. Don’t skip the fennel as it adds a lot of interesting flavor to the dish. I also don’t recommend skipping the tbsp of anise flavored liqueur at the end as it really brings the dish together.
I used scallops, cod, shrimp, and calamari for this. I also wanted to include mussels, but my grocery store was out. As I have mentioned before, I prefer good quality frozen seafood to fresh unless you live somewhere with a great seafood market.
This stew is perfect for serving with a side salad and some crusty bread to sop up the broth. I had some sourdough in my freezer and so we had some of that with a simple arugula salad.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 bulbs fennel white part only, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken, vegetable or seafood stock
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine like pinot grigio
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb white fish I used cod
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1 lb scallops
- 1 dozen mussels scrubbed
- 1 dozen clams or calamari pieces
- 1 tbsp anise liqueur like pernod or pastis
- 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and sautee until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, stock, wine, 1/2tbsp salt and some pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes uncovered.
- Add the seafood gently and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until the seafood is cooked and the shellfish has opened.
- Stir in the liqueur gently. Allow the simmer for a few more minutes. Discard any shellfish that hasn't opened up. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve in bowls topped with parsley.