This is the recipe my girlfriend Aleece used to make Cioppino at our Nantucket Supper Club. There are a lot of ingredients and it's a little labor intensive, but it is so worth the effort. It feeds many and was SO good!
Makes 6-8 servings
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried orgegano, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 (28-32 oz) can whole plum tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 (1 lb) king crab leg, thawed if frozen
18 small (2-inch) hard shelled clams (1 1/2 lb) such as littlenecks, scrubbed
1 lb skinless red snapper or halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 lb large shrimp (16-20), shelled (tails and bottom segment of shells left intact) and deveined
3/4 lb sea scallops, touch muscle removed from side of each if necessary
14 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
Cook garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and red pepper flakes with salt and pepper in oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
While stew is simmering, hack crab leg through shell into 2-to-3-inch pieces with a large heavy knife. Add crab pieces and clams to stew and simmer, covered, until clams just open, 5 to 10 minutes, checking every minute after 5 minutes and transferring opened clams to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon. (Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.) Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just about cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot and gently stir in parsley and basil.
Serve Cioppino immediately in large soup bowls.
Note: The stew - without seafood - can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, covered. Bring to a simmer before adding seafood.