Old-Style San Francisco Crab Cioppino

"San Francisco Cioppino. Many have had it with the heavy red sauce and seafood. Not the best, in our opinion. This recipe was handed down from an elderly Italian lady in San Francisco in the 50's. Hehee...original recipe called for a "cheese glass" of white wine. So authentic! This recipe makes the most wonderful seafood broth, a touch spicy with loads of great seafood. We have made it for years and it is a real winner! This is a very authentic, old style, San Francisco Crab Cioppino. The recommended ingredients make enough for 6-8 hungry seafood fans. This is the kind of meal where you can sit and eat and sip wine for a few hours. You will need plenty of napkins and bibs are recommended. You will also need some crab/lobster tools to get all of the wonderful meat. Share this with people you know, who won’t mind getting rather messy! Don't forget lots of toasted sourdough garlic bread. Dip it in the broth as you go. If you are a seafood fan and love a great broth, you will not be dissapointed."
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Ready In:




  • Using a TALL 8-10 quart pot, cover the bottom of the pot with a good virgin olive oil, about ¼ cup. Add the chopped onion, sage, garlic, parsley and celery and sauté slow and stirring often until tender, approximately 20 minutes. If it gets too dry, add a little more olive oil. Add tomato sauce and cayenne pepper. Reduce to lowest simmer and cook for approximately 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it gets too dry, add a little water.
  • Add 10-12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Begin adding the seafood. Raw crab first (if not raw, then cooked is an ok substitute.) If you get raw crab, cleaned and chopped, it will be much better). Return to a low boil, then lower to low-medium heat for 15 minutes.
  • Then add clams and mussels. Continue to simmer 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and scallops, simmer for 10 minutes, along with a cheese glass of white wine (6 oz.) before serving. Ok if this sits on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add the fish 5-7 minutes before you are ready to serve. Any longer than that, take it off the heat and reheat gently before serving. Ladle into large bowls and have a few extra bowls on the table for shells.
  • Have plenty of garlic and olive oil basted sourdough bread, finished with shredded parmesan cheese and your favorite California Chardonay. Offer the usual complement of crab tools, crackers, pickers, etc.
  • Left-overs should be refrigerated and eaten next day or two. After eating, offer your guests a warm hand towel with fresh lemon squirted on it, with a little water, microwave on high for 30 seconds.

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  1. Best I have ever had!!!



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