With the seasons changing, we’re serving up a delicious fall menu! First, a traditional Italian-style seafood stew, Cioppino, made with sea scallops, prawns and whitefish in an herby tomato sauce with white wine and a hint of fennel. If you’re a seafood fan, nothing could be better for sweater weather! And, since this dish doesn’t have pasta in it (a rare departure for our seasonal specials!), we’re offering the addition of a side of Spaghetti Marinara and Garlic Bread, to make your dinner a real fall feast.
Interestingly, cioppino is an Italian-American dish that actually originated in San Francisco, and is related to various regional fish stews of Italian cuisine. It was developed in the late 1800s by Italian immigrants who fished off the North Beach wharf and lived in San Francisco, many from the port city of Genoa. When a fisherman came back empty-handed, he would walk around with a pot to the other fishermen asking them to chip in whatever they could. Whatever ended up in the pot became his “cioppino”. It later became a staple as Italian restaurants proliferated in San Francisco.
Pastini chef-owner Craig Bashel has made this dish our own with a complex and tasty tomato wine broth, accented with fennel and aromatic vegetables, which shows the seafood off beautifully. And I highly recommend ordering some garlic bread with it, so good!
By the way, either red or white wine will accompany cioppino very well…red will pair with the tomatoes in the broth, and white will let the subtle seafood flavors shine through. You choose!