When you make this straightforward one-dish cioppino seafood meal, everyone is happy. And best of all, this is great for company. Throw an early spring dinner party! Why not?

(p.s. Don’t forget to scroll down for the garlic toasts. Irresistible!)


Cioppino with Garlic Toasts

The long list of ingredients may be off-putting, but once you gather them, this is easy to put together and truly one of the best one-pot meals going. If you like seafood—clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops—as much as I do,  you are in for a treat!

Serves 6 to 8

¼ cup olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 ½ green bell peppers, seeded, ribs removed, and diced

1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored, and diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups white wine

4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

One 28-ounce can chopped plum tomatoes with juice

Two 8-ounce bottles clam juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 to 18 small clams in their shells, well washed

12 to 18 mussels in their shells, well washed

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

12 medium sea scallops

8 ounces lump crabmeat, cleaned and picked through for small pieces of shell

¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Garlic Toasts (see recipe below)

  1. In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat until almost smoking. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften.
  2. Add the bell peppers and fennel and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add the tomato paste, stir for 1 minute, and then add the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 6 minutes, or until almost reduced by half. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and their juice, and clam juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the clams and mussels to the pot and cook, stirring, until their shells open. After 10 minutes, discard any that do not open. Add the shrimp, scallops, and crabmeat and stir for a few minutes or until the shrimp and scallops are cooked through. Discard the bay leaf, stir in the parsley and basil, and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  4. Serve the cioppino in large, shallow soup bowls with the garlic toasts on the side.


Garlic Toasts

Serves 6 to 8

1 small baguette, about 12 inches long

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 garlic clove, finely minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Slice the baguette into 20 to 24 slices, each about ½ inch thick. Lay the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the butter and garlic. Brush each slice of bread with the garlic butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

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