Cioppino is a fish stew that originated in San Francisco in the late 19th century. It was created by Italian immigrants, particularly those from the Liguria region of Italy, who settled in the city’s North Beach neighborhood. The dish is said to have been created to use up the catch of the day, and it typically features a variety of seafood, such as clams, squid, shrimp, and fish, all simmered in a tomato-based broth.
Cioppino is related to another seafood stew called Cacciucco, a traditional dish from Liguria. Cacciucco is made with a variety of fish and shellfish, typically including cod, and is simmered in a tomato-based broth with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Both dishes have a similar origin and ingredients, but Cioppino is considered more of a California-Italian fusion dish.
When it comes to wine pairing, a dry white wine or a light-bodied red wine would complement this dish nicely. Some suggested Italian varietals for Cioppino include:
- Vermentino: This is a dry white wine with a bright acidity and a crisp minerality. It has floral and citrus aromas with a hint of almond. It would pair well with the seafood in this dish.
- Pinot Nero: This red wine is light-bodied with delicate red fruit and spices aromas. It has a subtle tannin and a refreshing acidity. It would pair well with the tomato broth in this dish.
- Lombardia Franciacorta: This sparkling wine is made in the traditional method, and it has a complex aroma with notes of apple, pear, and citrus. The bubbles in this wine would make a nice contrast to the richness of the stew.
In conclusion, Cioppino is a fish stew that originated in San Francisco from Italian immigrants and is related to another traditional seafood stew from Liguria called Cacciucco. Although wine pairing is an essential aspect of this dish, a dry white wine or a light-bodied red wine would complement the flavors of this dish.
To make Pizzaioli’s Cioppino with Shellfish stew, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups fish stock or clam juice
- 1 lb clams, scrubbed and rinsed
- 1 lb calamari, cleaned and cut into rings
- 1 lb snow crab claws
- 1 lb langoustine
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lb scallops
- 1 lb fish of the day, cut into chunks
- Crostini, for serving
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the wine has reduced by half.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
- Add the fish stock or clam juice and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the clams, calamari, snow crab claws, langoustine, shrimp, scallops, and fish of the day.
- Cover the pot and simmer until the shellfish are cooked through and the fish is flaky about 10-15 minutes.
- Serve the stew in bowls with crostini on the side.
This dish is an excellent source of lean protein, vitamins, and minerals. Shellfish and fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit heart health and brain function. The tomato-based broth is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also a good vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium source.
Note: Always ensure the seafood is fresh and cleaned adequately before consuming, and keep in mind the recommended serving sizes for seafood to avoid consuming too much mercury.