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This hearty seafood stew originated in the Italian fishing community near the wharves of San Francisco, but it can be made anywhere there's an abundance of good fresh fish and shellfish. The seafood is quickly cooked in a flavorful blend of tomatoes, garlic, herbs, green pepper, fennel, and white wine. Serve it with plenty of crusty bread to mop up all the juices--and pass the napkins!


6 to 8
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 10-12 fresh Roma tomatoes (or 1 28-ounce can Italian Roma tomatoes) diced, juices reserved
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 ounce Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold® or 1 tablespoon Fumet de Poisson Gold® dissolved in 2 cups hot water
  • 12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 12 small littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound firm white fish, cut in 2-inch chunks
  • 1 pound sea scallops, muscle removed from side if necessary
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus 2 tablespoons shredded basil for garnish


  1. Warm the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, green pepper, fennel, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, then add the white wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, and diluted Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold® or Fumet de Poisson Gold® and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer slowly for 45 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the mussels and clams, replace the lid on the pot, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the shellfish have opened.
  5. Add the shrimp, fish, and scallops, replace the lid on the pot, and cook for about 5 minutes, just until the seafood is opaque and cooked through. Remove any shellfish that did not open and discard them.  Stir in the parsley and chopped basil.
  6. Serve the cioppino in warm, broad, shallow bowls topped with shredded basil.

Additional Tips

  • Any combination of fish and shellfish will work in cioppino--use whatever is freshest and most available in your region.
  • For a more brothy, soup-like consistency, simply add more diluted Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold®.

Wine Pairing: Dry Rosé or white Burgundy.

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Classic French Stocks and Sauces