Cioppino

 

YIELD

Makes 6 servings

ACTIVE TIME

45 min

TOTAL TIME

1 1/2 hr

 

INGREDIENTS

4 large garlic cloves, minced

2 medium onions, finely chopped

1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 cups dry red wine

1 (28- to 32-ounces) can whole plum tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped

1 cup bottled clam juice

1 cup chicken broth

1 (1-pound) king crab leg, thawed if frozen

18 small (2-inch) hard-shelled clams (1 1/2 pound) such as littlenecks, scrubbed

1 pound skinless red snapper or halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound large shrimp (16 to 20), shelled (tails and bottom segment of shells left intact) and deveined

3/4 pound sea scallops, tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Garnish: shredded fresh basil leaves and small whole leaves

Accompaniment: focaccia or sourdough bread

 

PREPARATION

Cook garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes with salt and pepper in oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While stew is simmering, hack crab leg through shell into 2- to 3-inch pieces with a large heavy knife. Add crab pieces and clams to stew and simmer, covered, until clams just open, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every minute after 5 minutes and transferring opened clams to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon. (Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.) Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot and gently stir in parsley and basil.

Serve cioppino immediately in large soup bowls.