It has been almost one year since my trip to Italy, and there’s nowhere I would rather be, and with a big bowl of pasta in front of me. Each time I visit I realize how different each region is and how delicious every single meal I have is. On my last trip I went to Tuscany, Cinque Terre, and Portofino. The coastal areas offer the freshest seafood and light Mediterranean fare, while Tuscany satiated my pasta craving.
To commemorate my time in Italy I recently decided to cook up one of my favorite dishes: Cioppino, an Italian seafood stew.
1 Fennel Bulb, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, whole
2 Celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 cups White Wine
28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
4 cups Fish Stock
Fish (Halibut), cut into pieces
Fresh Parsley, chopped
- Add oil to deep heavy pot.
- Add fennel, onion, and celery and sweat for a couple minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes.
- Pour in white wine and reduce by half.
- Add tomatoes, fish stock and bay leaf. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add mussels and clams to pot with lid. Cook for 3 minutes until they start to open.
- Put shrimp and fish into cioppino until cooked through (shrimp and pink and fish is no longer see-through).
- Serve with parsley and toasted baguettes!
If you have constant cravings for pasta, pizza, seafood, and all things Italian (like all of us here at The Chopping Block) sign up for one of our Italian-inspired classes in April! Come with us on a Culinary Adventure: A Trip to Rome on Monday, April 3 at Lincoln Square. Saturday, April 29th, or join us for Chef Lisa Count’s Italian Cicchetti Dinner on Tuesday, April 25th at the Merchandise Mart. For this Chef Dinner, our kitchen will be transformed into a Cicchetti (Chi-ke-tee) bar where you will enjoy a dynamic selection of Italian-style tapas that are typically served in traditional bars in northern Italy.