Recipes: Cioppino – Italian Seafood Stew  

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By Pamela Morgan, Owner Flirting with Flavors

Sundays are often my days to rejuvenate, to relax and get ready for another crazy week ahead. My husband and I like to have private time on Sunday evenings, so what could be better than cooking for him and making one of his favorite dishes Cioppino.

For those who don’t know “Cioppino” it is a seafood stew derived from Italian origins. It was developed in the late 1800s by Italian fishermen who settled in the North Beach section of San Francisco. Originally it was made on the boats while out at sea and later became a staple as Italian restaurants proliferated in San Francisco. It was made with the catch of the day and any leftovers. In this recipe I used scallops, shrimp, calamari, red snapper, and mussels. You can make the base ahead and then add the seafood at the last moment. You can also make it as spicy as you’d like. I like my food spicy so my Cioppino was on the hotter side. This rich stew tastes tangy and spicy and you could actually choose to serve it over pasta if you’d like.

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Recipes: Cioppino – Italian Seafood Stew  , the three tomatoesPrep Time: 25m  Cook Time: 50m  Total Time: 1h 15m

Serves: 4


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, small dice
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and small diced
  • 1 cup celery, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly chopped
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 8 oz bottles clam juice
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 2 tablespoons Sicilian dried herbs
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 pound mussels, cleaned and de bearded
  • 1/2 pound sea scallops
  • 1/2 pound shrimp peeled
  • 1/2 pound squid body (cut into rings) and tentacles
  • 3/4 pound white fish cut into large chunks
  • 1 loaf of focaccia bread


  1. In a large casserole, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until hot
  2. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Sweat for 5 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add Sicilian dried herbs, red pepper flakes, and fresh thyme.
  5. Stir the vegetables, add white wine and let it reduce for 5 minutes.
  6. Add clam juice, and tomatoes. Adjust seasoning
  7. In a small bowl mix tomato paste, and fish stock until well combined. Add to casserole.
  8. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Add in all the seafood, cover, and cook the until just tender, and mussels have opened, about 5-7 minutes.
  10. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with toasted focaccia bread to dip into the broth.
  11. Serve immediately.

Recipes: Cioppino – Italian Seafood Stew  Cookbook author and entertaining expert, Pamela Morgan is the owner of NYC based Flirting with Flavors, where she offers exclusive cooking parties, inspirational seminars and special events. She is highly regarded as a special event planner, culinary consultant, cookbook author, and is a food & entertaining editor for Hamptons’s Cottages and Gardens.   Pamela sees food as a flirtation: sexy, provocative, and a little mysterious. Her desire is to teach you how to flirt your way into a full on passion for cooking and entertaining! Visit her web site for recipes, entertaining inspiration and much more.

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