Last night we had our dentist Alice and her husband Homer over for dinner. They have just moved here from LA and we wanted to welcome them to Santa Barbara. It was a fun evening. We served Cioppino, which is a great dish for company because you can make everything ahead of time and just add the seafood at the last minute. We served it along with a baguette from our favorite bakery Deux. Everything was delicious. There are probably as many recipes for Cioppino as there are chefs. These are general guidelines. Feel free to depart or improvise.


Author: Laura S. Kirkley

Serves: 4



1 tablespoon, extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon, butter
1 large, onion – coarsely chopped
1/2 cup, celery – chopped
6 cloves, garlic – minced
1 teaspoon, dried red pepper
1 tablespoon, flour
1 cup, dry white wine
2 cans 14 oz., diced tomatoes
2 sprigs, fresh rosemary – finely chopped
1/4 cup, parsley – chopped
1 can 14 oz, chicken broth
10 ounces, Alaskan Cod (or other firm fleshed white fish)
10 ounces, uncooked large shrimp – peeled and deveined
12 mussels, whole scrubbed and  debearded
Additional chopped fresh parsley
Sea Salt
Extra-Virgin olive oil


  1. Heat olive oil and butter in large pot over medium heat
  2. Add onion and celery. Saute for several minutes until onion is translucent
  3. Add garlic and saute for one minute
  4. Add dried red pepper
  5. Sprinkle with flour
  6. Stir 2 minutes
  7. Add wine; cook until liquid evaporates
  8. Add tomatoes, parsley, rosemary, and chicken broth
  9. Bring to a boil
  10. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes
  11. Add shrimp and cook for approximately 2/3 minutes until pink
  12. Add Cod and cook until opaque in center, about 2 or 3 minutes
  13. Add Mussels until open
  14. Ladle soup into large soup bowls
  15. Sprinkle with additional parsley and sea salt
  16. Drizzle soup with olive oil

This seafood soup, also called cacciucco (meaning “mixture”), is a specialty of Livorno, a fishing port that is Tuscany’s second-largest city. It has been made for hundreds of years, and variations of it appear all along the Tuscan coast. Traditionally, at least five types of fish and shellfish are included )one for each “c” in the name). If you like, do as the Italians do, the place a slice of toasted bread in each bowl before ladling the soup over. Other seafoods may be added, such as squid (calamari), scallops, or mussels.


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