A Cold-Weather Feast: Cioppino

This recipe makes great use of the shells of the shrimp-don’t discard them!

Seafood Cioppino

This recipe makes great use of the shells of the shrimp-don't discard them!  Instead, make your very own shrimp stock by sauteing them in the pan first.  Later, they're removed, wrapped in cheesecloth, and dropped back into the stew.  Get the most of what you've got!


Italian-style Seafood


Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shell on
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 onions, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 each green and red bell
  •    small dice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 28-ounce can whole roasted
  •     plum
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 pounds clams, shell on
  • 1 pound white fish, such as
    cod or
  •     halibut, cut in bite-size pieces
  • ¾ pound sea scallops
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil



Rinse, peel and de-vein the
shrimp, reserving the shells. 


Heat oil in an 8-quart
stockpot over medium heat until it shimmers. Sauté the shrimp shells until they
have turned pink, then remove them from the pan and place them in an 8 by 8
inch square of cheesecloth. Tie the corners of the cheesecloth and set aside.


Add onion to the pan and
sauté until fragrant. Add garlic, bay, oregano, red pepper, black pepper and
bell peppers. Stir well and sauté until the peppers are soft. Add tomato paste
and cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until it gets fairly brown.  Add red wine, stir well and bring to a high
simmer, reducing the wine by half.  Crush
tomatoes by hand or chop roughly. Add tomatoes, clam juice, stock and shrimp shells
in cheesecloth. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. 


Lightly salt and pepper the
fish and scallops and then add to the soup along with the shrimp. Simmer for 2
to 3 minutes. Add clams. When clams have opened, turn off the heat and add
parsley. Stir well and garnish with basil. Serve with toasted garlic


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