Seafood Cioppino

Recipe by Chef Colette Nelson, Ludvig’s Bistro, Sitka, AKCourse: MainCuisine: Italian, American


Prep time



  • Cioppino
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ Alaska Grown yellow onion, diced

  • 1 medium Alaska Grown fennel bulb, trimmed and diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 4 cups Ludvig’s Marinara Sauce (see recipe)

  • 4 cups Saffron Shrimp Stock (see recipe)

  • 8 oz wild Alaska black cod tips, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 wild Alaska Dungeness crabs cooked, legs separated and cracked

  • 16 wild Alaska spot prawns, peeled and deveined (reserve shells for stock*)

  • 16 Alaska mussels, cleaned and beards removed

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Garnishes: fresh, chopped flat-leaf parsley and dried chili flakes

  • Ludvig’s Marinara Sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1½ tsp dried basil

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • ½ tsp ground star anise (ground in a coffee or spice grinder)

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • ¼ cup chopped garlic

  • ½ dried chipotle pepper

  • 3 oz tomato paste

  • Pinch of sugar

  • Saffron Shrimp Stock
  • About 30 Alaskan spot prawn shells; reserve 16 prawns for cioppino

  • 8 saffron threads

  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika


  • Cioppino
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add onion and fennel; sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic and fennel seed; stir and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add wine, and cook about 8 minutes or until reduced by half. Add 4 cups Ludvig’s Marinara Sauce and 4 cups Saffron Shrimp Stock; stir and let cook 5 minutes. Add black cod pieces and crab legs; reduce heat to a low simmer (do not let boil); cover pot and let simmer 2 minutes. Add mussels and cover; simmer about 3 minutes or until mussels start to pop open; stir in prawns and cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. Taste broth for salt; add more salt and pepper, as needed.
  • To serve: Using a slotted spoon, place seafood in center of a large shallow platter or bowl; pour broth around seafood. Garnish with parsley and chili flakes, if desired.
  • Ludvig’s Marinara Sauce
  • In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine oregano and next the 9 ingredients; blend until well combined; empty into a large bowl; set aside. Blend in two batches if necessary.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté garlic until golden, about 1 minute. Add chipotle and tomato paste. Stir in reserved tomato mixture. Let simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, 1½ to 2 hours. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or a pinch of sugar, as needed.
  • Saffron Shrimp Stock
  • Roast shells on a rimmed sheet pan at 400° F for 15 minutes. Remove pan and carefully deglaze by adding ½ cup dry white wine. Pour shells and wine into a large stock pot and place over medium-high heat. Add 2 quarts water, saffron, turmeric, and paprika. Stir; reduce heat and let simmer 30 minutes. Strain broth into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding shells. Stock can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 days.


  • This marinara recipe makes more than you’ll need for the cioppino; save any extra (stored in the refrigerator or freezer) for when you want to make a quick tomato-based dish.

Alaska Seafood Marketing InstituteAlaska Seafood Marketing Institute
311 N. Franklin St., Ste. 200
Juneau, AK 99801

(907) 465-5560


This recipe originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Fish Alaska.