Thursday, December 23, 2010


"Cioppino" is a dish from San Francisco with roots in ItalyFishermen would put together their "Morning Catch" in one pot. One would bring shrimp, the other scallops and so forth. This process was called "Chipping In" but some of them couldn't pronounce it properly so they would just called it "Cioppino" pronounced "Chippino".

So I'm finally done with my Cioppino challenge. Because I took short cuts in my previous challenge, by using the box cake, I decided to do everything from scratch this time around. Was this a good idea? I'm still not sure. This recipe called for marinara sauce and instead of buying one already made, I made mine with nice ripe tomatoes and fresh basil.

As you probably already know, seafood is kinda expensive so instead of buying each ingredient individually, I got a pack of Seafood Mix at the fish market on Church and Nostrand Avenue. I did however, buy the clams because I love to see how it opens with the steam. The package had, shrimp, mussels, Squid, Octopus and Surimi.

If you thought that I was nervous for the previous challenges, well I was HORRIFIED for this one. So horrified that I even had thoughts of calling off today's activities, but that would have just defeated the entire purpose of the blog!  I never ate Cioppino so I didn't know what it was supposed to taste like. I didn't know if it was supposed to be sweet, salty or what. I knew what marinara sauce tasted like and mine was just like it. When it started cooking, I began getting familiar scents so that eased my mind a little. It wasn't as "Red" as I thought it would have been though. Maybe it was because the tomatoes weren't ripe enough, so please forgive me. Usually it is served with bread but I served mine on a bed of Sphagetti. As far as the actual technique of preparing this dish, it wasn't too challenging. The difficult part was acquiring a taste that I never tasted. I hope that any little skill  I have would be sufficient enough to assist me in getting a decent grade. *On my knees praying*.

Recipe for Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped shallots 
2 garlic cloves, chopped
 4 large RIPE peeled, chopped tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 Large Bay Leaves1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, shallots, and garlic. Cook, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low andsimmer, covered, until tomatoes are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Take out Bay Leaves. Cool 5 minutes.

Cool and Blend if you don't want it chunky. 

Recipe for Cioppino


  • Heat oil in large stock pot.
  • Wilt onions and garlic.
  • Add marinara, basil,  wine, water, 
  • Season to you taste with salt
  • Simmer 20 minutes.
  • Add Seafood, cook over low heat 8-10 minutes or until clams open.
  • Fish out Bay Leaf and discard
  • Add water if stew is to thick
  • Garnish with parsley

Tomatoes for home mad Marinara sauce
                                                     Clams opened nicely                          
                                                      My Cioppino


  1. This looks really good. I love seafood. You need to have an event for people to sample these things that you are making. My friends and I love to taste different types of food.

  2. This dish was good I must say. No complaints but serve less pasta with more sauce. The star is the stew not the pasta!

  3. As an Italian i can safely say the star of this type of dish is the marinara sauce which would futher enhance the other stars ....the seafood. The taste must be a balance between both sweet and savory i like mines a bit spicy but thats just me. Wish i could have tasted it looks yum! Next time make sure your tomatoes and riped and red.

  4. I'm a seafood lover so I couldn't wait to try the dish out and not too mention my uncle is Italian so I wanted too see how it stood up against his. I must say it was delicious, could have gone for a little more sauce but there's always next time. The pasta was cooked just right and the clams were great *not over cooked nice and tender* you could actually taste the white wine in it a litttle bit. I enjoyed and would try any dish you make keep up the good work. The grade I gave the dish is a 8.5.