Cioppino ala Rob

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An Italian seafood stew – works easily as main dish or as starter course in smaller servings.


  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 1 large bulb fennel, shaved
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano (or dried Italian seasoning)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 pound hot andouille sausage, peeled and sliced (omit for Fridays in Lent, double pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 pound sea scallops, salted and peppered
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound halibut, hake, or other firm, white fish
  • 1/2 pound jumbo lump crab meat


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large medium-high pan
  2. Add garlic, brown for 20 seconds
  3. Remove garlic and place in large stockpot
  4. Reduce pan to medium and sweat onion, shallots, fennel, and peppers until tender and onions are translucent (in batches if needed), using 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 large pinches of salt
  5. Add cooked vegetables, tomatoes (including liquid from can), fennel seeds, bay leaf, oregano, pepper flakes to stockpot along with clam juice and water
  6. Brown sausage slices over medium-high heat
  7. Set sausage aside
  8. Deglaze pan with half-cup wine and add liquid to stockpot
  9. Add 1 Tbsp. oil and butter to pan and spread evenly
  10. Just as butter starts to smoke, add scallops
  11. Wait 90 seconds and flip. DON'T TOUCH BEFORE THEN
  12. Cook another 90 seconds, maybe a few seconds more if pan has cooled down
  13. Scallops should have crust of sear on each side that does not extend down vertical portions
  14. Reduce heat to medium and set scallops aside in refrigerator on ice
  15. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup wine and add to stockpot
  16. Add tomato paste to pan and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until paste turns slightly brown – about 2-4 minutes
  17. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup wine and add to stockpot, stirring well
  18. Add remaining cup of wine to stockpot and bring to rolling boil to reduce liquid by about half
  19. Add sausage to stockpot
  20. Cover and reduce to low simmer for 1 hour
  21. Add fresh herbs, fish, crab, and shrimp
  22. Cook until fish and shrimp are done, stirring GENTLY about 5 minutes
  23. Add scallops and bring back to low simmer
  24. Serve in large flat bowls with crostini

This recipe was submitted by rjp on June 14, 2007.

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