There is that day every July when the halls of the Dugoni School become permeated with a delicious smell, as members of the school’s alumni association gather to cook up a feast for the incoming dental students. The centerpiece of this school tradition is cioppino, a seafood stew unique to San Francisco. Some of the alumni chefs were kind enough to share their recipe with us. Here it is!
Dugoni School of Dentistry Alumni Cioppino with the Duke’s Marinara Sauce
Recipe provided courtesy of Ken Frangadakis, Ernie Giachetti, Mario Puccinelli (The Duke) and Paul Senise.
For Marinara Sauce:
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 leek, chopped (white part only)
1½ tbsp garlic, chopped fine
2/3 yellow onion, chopped
¼ bunch Italian (flat) parsley
1 can (28 oz) crushed peeled tomatoes (San Marazano brand if possible)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano (Note: fresh basil can be added also)
Pinch cayenne or cracked red pepper
Dash “Mrs. Dash” spice
2/3 Cup dry white wine
(Amounts and type can be altered according to taste)
1 lb Dungeness crab, cleaned and cracked
2/3 lb Black tiger prawns (large)
1/3 lb Scallops
½ lb Clams, chopped
¼ lb Rock cod filet, fresh
In a large sauce pan (1 gal.), heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions, leek, parsley and garlic for about 5 minutes (add garlic near end so it won’t burn).
Add white wine and bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer off the alcohol (7-8 minutes).
Add remaining non-seafood ingredients (tomatoes, spices) and simmer on medium to low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Note: This sauce can be refrigerated or frozen and saved for weeks.
Add rock cod first and cook on medium to low heat until it starts to break down (a good thing), about 10-15 minutes. Then add the prawns and continue to cook for 7-8 minutes. Finally, add the remaining seafood, turn up the heat and bring it to a boil for 5-10 minutes.
Serve in a large soup bowl with white wine/beer, garlic bread — and a bib! Enjoy!
The “Marinara” Story
The word “marinara” is derived from the Italian word for sailor, “marinaro.” The sauce itself contains no seafood, but is a tomato-based sauce. It originated in the Italian seaport town of Naples and was served to the sailors when they returned home from sea. It was poured over pasta or, with seafood added, became cioppino — a San Francisco original from the kitchens of the Sicilian and Southern Italian crab fishermen who immigrated to the Bay Area.