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Crab Cioppino Print Email


1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup onions, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Crab butter* (optional)
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Tony's Marinara, or tomato sauce recipe follows
1 cup clam juice or fish broth
2 fresh Dungeness crabs (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each)
8 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
16 clams, well scrubbed
16 black or green mussels, well scrubbed
Chopped parsley, as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste

In an 8-quart kettle or pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until transparent. Add the garlic and saute until it begins to brown. Stir in crab butter and let cook slowly for 2 minutes (crab butter is saffron yellow in color and adds a distinctive rich flavor). Next, add the wine, and reduce. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, broth, and live crabs (see note).

To simmer at low heat for about 5 minutes. Add shrimp, clams, mussels and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve in a bowls and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste.

Note: If your crab is cooked ahead of time, add it to the recipe at the same time you add the clams, shrimp, and mussels. Serves 4 -adapted from Nunzio Alioto

*Fresh crab usually has yellowish matter under the shell in the center of the body, called crab butter, or fat, or mustard. It is edible and considered quite tasty - optional.


Tomato sauce:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
40 ounces canned puree tomatoes
18 basil leaves, julienne
Salt and pepper, to taste

Warm heavy skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil and diced onion. When onion becomes transparent, add the garlic and cook until lightly brown. Add tomatoes, basil leaves, salt and pepper, and simmer for 45 minutes.
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