One-Pot Wonders


February  6, 2011
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

I heart cioppino. Ate it for the first time on our honeymoon 16 years ago and have been making it / fiddling with my recipe ever since. Last night's was exceptional, and I had two advantages 1) my fish guy had some sea bass bones so I made my own stock - yum. 2) I have a bunch of marinara put up from last summer so good fresh tomato flavor. The point is, use the best you can get your hands on. Also, this makes a mess. There is no way around it. Fish goo, clam shells, splatters, bread crumbs. So when you are done just put on some motivating music, fill your wine glass, and clean with a happy full belly! The live version of Robert Earl Keen's The Road Goes On Forever (with the story about Willie's Picnic at the beginning) is a great start!!! - aargersi —aargersi

Test Kitchen Notes

In her headnote, Aargersi mentions her love affair with cioppino, beginning with her first taste on her honeymoon. Honestly, now that I have made and enjoyed her version, I heart cioppino too. Her love of this dish and experience making and refining her recipe is evident; this is the ultimate. Every ingredient has a purpose, and the dish comes together in a wonderful tangy-sweet-salty-sour way. The briny, chili-flecked olives (I love a little heat and used a spicy blend as she did), and sweet notes from the citrus zest and juices—orange in particular—complement all of the other flavors so well, I cannot imagine making this any other way. I used a mixture of clams, shrimp and cod. I had toasted baguette on hand to soak up all the wonderful broth. I will be making this again for years to come! —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine (something not oakey - I used a sangiovese)
  • 1/2 cup marinara
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed olives (I used a spicy blend with chili in it - but if you don't like spice then just mix some very good briny black and green ones)
  • a mixture of seafood - enough for 2 people - we had clams, mussles, dungeness crab and orange roughy
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • (I usually add fresh basil as well but the store was OUT and ours froze to death. If you have some, throw it in there)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion until it is clear, then add the garlic. Satue a couple more minutes, then add the fish stock, wine and and marinara, and turn the heat up so it is simmering. Zest in the lemon and the orange, then squeeze in the juice. Add the olives in too. Now add the clams and cover. Simmer for a few minutes until they start to open. Add in the fish and the mussles.
  2. When the fish is cooked and the mussles are open add the crab (the crab we got was already cooked and just needed to warm up). Cover for a couple more minutes, Taste for salt - ours didn't need any extra because the olives and seafood added plenty. But you might need some.
  3. Stir in the parsley and serve with grilled or griddled bread for slopping up the juice! You need spoons and forks both to get all of the goodies and the broth!!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kirsten Springer
    Kirsten Springer
  • fiveandspice
  • testkitchenette
  • mrslarkin
  • NWB

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

25 Reviews

Apryl May 4, 2020
Just made this tonight and it was a real crowd pleaser for all the seafood lovers in my family (not so much to non-seafood lover, but you can't please everyone!). I made a couple of small alterations...nothing crazy, but worth noting. I used Japanese Hondashi bonito broth for half the broth (1 c) and chicken broth for the other half (1 c). It had a nice umami flavor - not too fishy or salty. We used shrimp, clams, mussels and some leftover tilapia (which sort of disintegrated which was fine for us, but if you're looking for a meatier fish in your stew, probably should go with sea bass or something that will maintain it's shape better). I also used a mixed olive tapenade from Trader Joes which was easy and delicious (didn't have access to a store with olives). I doubled the recipe for 4 people and there was a lot leftover, so perhaps next time I will just 1 1/2 it. You will definitely want something to sop up the broth with (we used a french baguette). Will definitely make again!
heatherharold April 27, 2017
Has anyone tried scaling this up for six people? I'm curious if the proportions for individual ingredients would stay the same...
aargersi April 28, 2017
Hi there - yeah, just start multiplying! Also feel free to play around as Kirsten below did - you can easily add or subtract ingredients to your liking to make it your own!
Kirsten S. December 19, 2016
SO delicious. I'll be making this recipe every month. I added spice rubbed salmon, cod, and scallops. I also added 2 bay leaves, fennel seed, anchovies paste, tomato paste, white beans, and chix stock (on top of the fish stock).
aargersi December 19, 2016
I am so glad you like it! Funny I haven't thought about cioppino in a while but now it is back on my radar.
fiveandspice September 19, 2012
Gorgeous! And delicious. My husband's family always eats cioppino on Christmas Eve, and while I consider it sacrilegious (my family celebrates actual Christmas on the Eve with a pork roast), I must admit it is tasty. I think I'm going to introduce your version into the mix because it looks crazy good.
aargersi September 19, 2012
Thanks Em if they like cioppino I think they will like this one! Maybe you could have this AND pork roast!!!
testkitchenette February 8, 2011
Wowza, as my grandfather would have said...this is a gooder (usually reserved for his homemade plum preserves, Graeter's ice cream, and my grandmother's yeast rolls). I need to make this soon to brighten up my winter days!
TGard February 17, 2021
Please pass along the recipe for your grandfathers plum preserves. I have a big, ancient Italian plum and I'm always interested in new plum tastes.
mrslarkin February 8, 2011
wow - that is one honkin' cioppino! Nicely done!
NWB February 8, 2011
This sounds wonderful! I love the Central Market bread in the background--best grocery store ever, in my opinion, and sadly not located anywhere near my current home.
aargersi February 8, 2011
Oh I am sad you don't have a CM ... well the only answer is to come on down, shop at CM and cook in Ginger's Kitchen!!!
TheWimpyVegetarian February 8, 2011
What a GREAT way to do a cioppino! And I agree, making your own fish stock makes a wonderful difference to the depth of flavor you get. I'm saving this to make soon!!
dymnyno February 7, 2011
I love cioppino!! and your version is unique. So good with crusty sour dough bread!
nannydeb February 7, 2011
That sounds warming and delicious!
hardlikearmour February 6, 2011
I want to dive right into this bowl!
aargersi February 6, 2011
Thanks! We sure did - fish was flying - thus the cleanup!!!
guineverek February 6, 2011
I need to make this some weekend soon, YUM!
aargersi February 6, 2011
Let me know if you like it!!!
lastnightsdinner February 6, 2011
Love Cioppino - this looks fantastic!
aargersi February 6, 2011
Thank you! It is worth the mess. Hmm - I should add that it's best to make it close to trash day - all of the shells can get a bit ripe in the can :-)
drbabs February 6, 2011
Love! And love Robert Earl Keen (not King, sorry), too! We saw him live a few years ago when he came to NY!
aargersi February 6, 2011
How funny - I fixed that - must not have had enough coffee when I was typing!
arielleclementine February 6, 2011
beautiful! you're one classy lady!
aargersi February 6, 2011
Thank you my friend!