Floyd’s San Franciscan Cioppino

This old Sicilian dish is really a kind of seafood stew, not unlike the French bouillabaisse. Down on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco it’s a favourite at Alioto’s Restaurant but this is my version.


  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 fl oz (120 ml) olive oil
  • pints (900 ml) Puréed fresh tomatoes plus a little tomato Purée
  • 2 fl oz (50 ml) dry white wine
  • 6 heaped tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • tablespoon chopped basil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb (450 g) uncooked prawns
  • 2 lb (900 g) white fish fillets
  • 3 lb (1.4 kg) clams in shells, carefully scrubbed
  • 2 crabs in shells, cooked and with shells cracked
  • Fish stock
  • Salt


Sauté the onions, carrots and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are soft. Add the Puréed fresh tomatoes, tomato Purée, wine, parsley, thyme, basil and cayenne pepper. Partially cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the prawns, white fish and unshelled clams and crabs, cover with fish stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding a little salt if necessary.