- SERVINGS: 10
This Ligurian fish stew is prepared with six kinds of fish and shellfish. To make it more authentic, don't shell the shrimp and allow a little extra time for them to cook. Pasta cooking water helps lightly thicken the broth, but plain water will do.
At Rose Pistola, Reed Hearon uses harissa to add heat to the stew rather than traditional dried chiles because it's easier to incorporate and you won't bite into a stray chile. Harissa is available at specialty food shops and Middle Eastern markets.
- 8 garlic cloves—3 lightly crushed and 5 minced
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Two 35-ounce cans whole Italian peeled tomatoes, coarsley chopped, with their liquid
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, white and tender green, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons harissa
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups water, preferably pasta cooking water
- 1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed white fish fillets, such as rockfish, halibut, scrod or tilefish
- 10 stone crab claws, cracked, or 3 live Dungeness crabs, cleaned and quartered
- 1 1/4 pounds small mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1 pound cleaned small squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings, tentacles halved, or baby octopus
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- Crusty bread, for serving
- In a large nonreactive pot, sauté the crushed garlic in 1/4 cup of the oil over moderately high heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until reduced to 5 cups, about 30 minutes. Mash in the sautéed garlic. Transfer the tomato sauce to a large bowl and wipe out the pot.
- Return the pot to high heat and add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add the onion, scallions, marjoram and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley, anchovies, harissa and minced garlic and cook, stirring, until the anchovies break apart and the garlic is just turning golden, about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta water and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add the fish, crab, mussels, squid and the shrimp, cover and cook until the seafood is cooked through and the mussels have opened, about 4 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and any unopened mussels. Season with slat and pepper and serve with the bread.
Either a Californian Charbono or an Italian Barbera d'Asti will meld with the Cioppino since the acidic tomatoes blend nicely with the fruit in these red wines. The spice in the Charbono goes especially well with the rich crab and rockfish.