Cioppino – cod, sausage and fennel

After 28 years working for a local company they decided to let several long term dedicated people go. I feel OK saying this now as I just received my last severance check 🙂 I was a little bitter at first but I have been so unhappy with the twists and turns of the company for many many years now. I stayed thinking what else could I do; not a lot of local opportunities; plus I didn’t want to leave my co-workers with more. When I started they were family oriented and had a fabulous reputation in their industry. That is no longer the case and no longer their vision and I had a hard time excepting and giving less. Enough about this I have moved on to a wonderful company based out of CA and I get to work from home so I can’t get more local than that.


The reason I bring this up is my new company flew me out to San Francisco area for spirit week last week. For those that know me personally know this is totally my jam. It was a work and play kind of week and a chance to meet everyone in person. I was very happy my husband was able to go with me; he drove me and a few coworkers to work and back every day. Plus we added the weekends so I could visit some family and spend time exploring the area in my off time. This was my first trip to San Francisco and only my second time to CA. 

OK I am getting too wordy so here is why I am sharing this recipe again. We ended an afternoon of ticking things off my tourist list on Fisherman’s Wharf and at the Fog Harbor Fish House restaurant. Being from New England we take our chowder pretty serious so I was a little surprised my husband ordered a bowl, it wasn’t New England but it was pretty damn good. The bartender said he was honored that we liked it being from New England. For dinner I saw Cioppino on the menu and remembering when I looked it up; the internet said it came from San Francisco so I HAD to order it. It was absolutely divine. So much so we went out the other night and they had cioppino as the special and my husband ordered it and loved it. You need to make this, you won’t be disappointed.




A deep rich broth with different seafood made into a lovely stew


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces Italian sausage casing removed, crumbled
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 small bulb fennel trimmed, cored, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups clam juice substitute, chicken broth
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound Cod, skinned cut into 1 inch pieces


  • Heat the oil in a medium to large pot over medium-high heat, add the sausage, braking it up. Add the onion and fennel cooking until the veggies are softened and starting to brown and the sausage is cooked through
  • Add the wine and simmer while scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce the wine by half. Add the clam juice, marinara and pepper flakes, bring to a simmer reduce the heat to low and cover, simmer until the veggies are tender about 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the fish into the stew, cover and simmer gently without stirring until the fish is flaky and is just opaque. Takes about 5 minutes


You are not limited to jut cod. When I make this now I always add mussels. The one I had in San Fran had shrimp and mussels. The one my husband had the other night had a nice piece of swordfish right in the middle, he loved it. I add sausage to mine to bring another layer of flavor, You could omit it or change it to chorizo for a little heat. The only thing I would say is pay attention to the seafood you add and make sure you adjust the cooking time for what you use. Shrimp should be added last just before serving so they don’t overcook.


Another wonderful recipe from Fine Cooking 

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