I wanted to make something special for our family who was visiting. My daughter has been requesting clams for a long time and I thought I could please everyone with a nice bowl of cioppino – I was right. It was light, full of flavor and so delicious! I served with a tossed salad and a hunk of fresh baked baguette. It was a perfect and satisfying meal.
A side note to my sister Dana and my parents – you will LOVE this dish.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 pinch of crushed red pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 cup of really good dry white wine
- 4 cups of chicken stock or fish stock
- 3 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 3-4 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh chopped basil for garnish
- 20 littleneck clams, cleaned well
- 1 lb halibut, cut into large chunks
- 1/2 lb of bay scallops
- 2 cups medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the green onions, onion, bell pepper, fennel seed and crushed pepper. Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds stirring frequently. Add white wine, bring to a boil, and cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, bay leaves, salt and pepper – stir. Cover and simmer the mixture for about one hour. Cioppino should be more like a broth than a stew.
While the cioppino is simmering, combine the following ingredients:
- 1/2 lb bay scallops
- 1 lb of fresh halibut
- 2 cups medium size shrimp, cleaned & deveined
- Lemon zest from one lemon, divided into thirds
- 3 tsp olive oil, divided into thirds
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced, divided into thirds
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, divided into thirds
- Salt and pepper to taste
I marinade the scallops, halibut and shrimp separately because they all cook at different speeds. Place shrimp, scallops and fish in separate bowls then add a third of lemon zest, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp parsley, salt and pepper to each bowl. Mix thoroughly, cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator while the cioppino simmers.
Taste the cioppino and re-season if needed. Remove and discard both bay leaves. Turn the burner up to medium high and add the clams; cook for 3 minutes then add halibut; cook for 1 minute then add scallops; cook for 1 minute then add shrimp; Cook for 1 minute, ladle into bowls and top with fresh basil. Remember to discard any clams that didn’t open while cooking. Serve with a hunk of fresh baguette. Enjoy.