Cioppino, that marvellous Italian-American seafood stew with roots in San Francisco, is not hard to make. But a luxurious cioppino typically uses many types of seafood crab, mussels, scallops, shrimp, squid, halibut which does not exactly make it wallet-friendly.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ cups chopped onions
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 tbsp Italian herb blend
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cans (450g each) diced tomatoes, with their liquid
- 1/3 cup red wine or to taste (optional)
- 3 fillets firm fish (340g total), cut in chunks
- 170g canned roasted red peppers, drained, coarsely chopped
- 170g all-white crabmeat
- 8 to 12 cooked prawns, tail removed (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about two minutes. Stir in herb blend, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes and wine, if using; heat to a boil.
- Stir in the fish, making sure pieces are submerged; lower heat so mixture remains at a slow boil. Cook until fish is cooked through, about five minutes. Stir in roasted red peppers, crabmeat and prawns, if using. Heat until warmed through, about three minutes. Taste; if stew is too acidic, stir in sugar. Serve, topped with parsley.