Nor Cal cioppino

  • 60ml olive oil
  • 400g diced yellow onions
  • 225g thinly sliced fennel
  • 175g chopped red pepper
  • 50g minced garlic
  • 110g tomato puree
  • 360ml red wine
  • 1.35L tomato sauce
  • 120ml clam juice
  • 60ml lemon, juice
  • 960ml water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp red chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 30ml Sambuca liqueur
  • 1.8kg Dungeness crab, whole, cooked, cleaned, cracked and broken into 4 pieces
  • 900g littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed
  • 900g firm white fish, like cod or halibut, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 900g prawns, shell on, deveined
  • 25g coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • Fresh bread, for serving
1) Heat the oil in a large stock pot over a medium heat and saute the onions, fennel, pepper and garlic until lightly browned. Add the tomato puree and continue to cook until it browns.

2) Add the wine, tomato sauce, clam and lemon juices, water, bay leaves, chilli flakes, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and liqueur to the sauteed vegetables and simmer for 1 hour.

3) Add the crab and clams to the sauce and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Discard clams that do not open, then add the cod and cook 4 to 5 minutes. DO NOT STIR.

4) To finish add the prawns and cook 3 to 4 minutes until they turn pink. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately with lots of fresh bread.

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