Spicy Cioppino My Way

Spicy Cioppino My Way
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Provided by:

    Ingredients Print Recipe

  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green part only, rinsed and diced
  • 1 small sweet maui onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2-1 tsp red chile flakes
  • 1 tbsp high quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 c dry Italian white wine, divided
  • 1 1/2 c Italian red wine, divided
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 C clam juice ( or seafood stock)
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 lb Manilla Clams, scrubbed well and soaked in cool water
  • 1 lb Mussels, debearded and scrubbed well and soaked in cool water
  • 1 lb Prawns, tails on and deveined
  • 1 lbs large sea scallops
  • 1 lb mahi mahi, cod or other firm white fish cut into 1" chunks
  • 4-6 crab claws (Pre-cooked, optional)
  • Other seafood options: smaller shrimp, Calamari, Dungeness crab, snow crab, little neck clams or cockles
  • 1/2 c Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Hot sauce such as Tabasco or a habanero hot sauce


1. Slice the top off the garlic bulb exposing the cloves and place in a piece of foil. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 35-40 min or until very soft. Remove from the oven until cool enough to handle and remove all the cloves. Mash into a paste.

2. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven heat the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the fennel, onion and leeks and sauté until starting to caramelize, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add in the mashed roasted garlic and stir another 30 seconds.

3. Rub the oregano and basil between your hands to release their oils and add them to the pan with the smoked paprika, red chile flakes and balsamic vinegar. Stir again another 30 seconds. Add in the paste and 1 cup of each the white wine and red wine. Stir well and bring to a simmer for about 5 min to reduce the wines slightly.

4. Pour in the clam juice, the San Marzano tomatoes with their juice, the remaining wine and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Taste the cioppino and season with salt and pepper. Using and immersion blender, blend the soup about 30 seconds only partially pureeing it. Add the remaining 1/2 c of each wine.

5. Raise the heat to medium and add the clams and mussels, then the prawns, fish and crab claws (if using). Let cook about 5 minutes until all the clams and mussels have opened, the prawns are opaque and the fish has cooked.

6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley. Add additional hot sauce if desired for more spice! Serve hot with more red and white wine to drink and of course good crusty Italian bread for dipping.

Notes: The broth can be made ahead of time and either refrigerated or frozen until ready to finish the dish. Just thaw and heat to a simmer before adding the seafood. Smoked paprika, extra red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar are my 'secret ingredients' to making this cioppino extra good.

If you are intimidated by the thought of prepping the seafood you can always ask anyone at your local seafood store or seafood counter at your grocery store to prep it for you, they are always happy to help. To prepare the shellfish soak the clams in several changes of cool water so they 'spit out' sand and grit.

For the mussels, scrub and pull the beards off and soak in cold water the same way as the clams.

Recipe developed by Shanna Schad,

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