Spicy Cioppino My Way Recipe

Spicy Cioppino My Way Recipe


  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (Italian Olive Oil from World Market)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green part only, rinsed and diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 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 (Fini from World Market)
  • 1 1/2 c dry Italian White wine ( World Market Pino Blanco, Vermentino or Pino Gris) divided
  • 1 1/2 c Italian Red wine (World Market Sangiovese or Chianti), divided
  • 3 ounces tomato paste (Mutti Tomato Paste from World Market)
  • 2 1/2 C clam juice ( or seafood stock)
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes (Solania from World Market)
  • 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
  • 1 lb Mussels, debearded and scrubbed well
  • 1 lb Prawns, tails on and deveined
  • 1 lb Cod or other firm white fish, cut into chunks
  • 4-6 rock crab claws (Pre-cooked, optional)
  • Other seafood options: Scallops, Calamari, Dungeness crab, snow crab, little neck clams or cockles
  • 1/2 c Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Hot sauce such as Tobasco 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. 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. 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 ½ c of each wine.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Recipe source: pineappleandcoconut