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Cioppino (Italy)

2 lbs. mussels
1 t. basil
3 cups water
1 T. olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 t. oregano or coriander seed
2 cups white wine
2 carrot sticks, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 lbs. firm white fish fillets cut into chunks (cusk, haddock, hake, halibut, monkfish)
2 large green peppers, diced
6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
2 large onions, diced
1/2 lb. sea scallops
1/2 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 16-oz. cans whole tomatoes, chopped, with liquid
Salt & pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups mussel broth

In a large saucepan, steam mussels in 3 cups of water until shells open. Remove and set aside. Reduce mussel broth in half by heating over medium heat, yielding 1-1/2 cups.

In large stewpot, sauté carrots, celery, peppers, garlic and onion in oil for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato liquid, mussel broth, basil, bay leaves and oregano/coriander. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add 2 cups wine and bring to a boil. Add fish chunks, scallops and shrimp, simmer 5 minutes. Add reserved mussels and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Italian bread.

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