Cioppino Tradition

27 Dec
For generations my family has been making Cioppino as the Christmas Eve meal, the tradition started years ago in Italy. I have so many memories of my childhood with my grandparents hosting Christmas Eve with all of the cousins running around and the adults gathered in the kitchen making Cioppino and sipping on their glasses of red wine. We would all wear bibs (adults included) while eating with our hands. After dinner and gifts we would head off to midnight Mass. My Mother would make us sit in the back pew because we smelled of seafood! It’s by far my favorite meal. Not only because of the memories and tradition, it’s just SOOOOO good!
This year I hosted Christmas Eve with my family and my husband’s family. Everyone loved it.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)
  • 2 cups clam juice or fish stock
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Dungeness crab (about 2-lbs), cracked and cleaned, or 1-lb frozen crabmeat thawed
  • 2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 1-in slices
  • 24 large prawns, peeled and de-veined
  • 12 mussels
  • 12 clams
  • 1 pound scallops
  • 1 package of squid
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • Sliced lemons as garnish
  • In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley. Simmer on low, uncovered, for one hour. Add a splash of water if the sauce gets to thick. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
  • Add the crab, shrimp, and halibut, and simmer covered another five minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Turn off the heat, and stir in the Italian parsley.
  • 6 Servings
Ladle the Ciopinno into large bowls and serve with lots of sourdough bread and red wine. Mangia!




One Response to “Cioppino Tradition”

  1. aricortes December 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    I love it! I love a good family tradition, especially involving food and wine.

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