Cioppino from NEBO’s Christine & Carla Pallotta

Chris McIntosh for BostonChefs

Chef-sister duo Christine and Carla Pallotta of NEBO share their recipe for cioppino — a traditional Italian-American seafood stew — to keep you warm on the coldest of days but also give you a tiny taste of summery seafood (a timely reminder that spring isn’t too far off). The pair swears that with a little patience and practice, this lobster sauce and shellfish dish is quite easy to make (and well worth the process).


Servings: 4-6


For the lobster and lobster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 - 32 oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 - 2lb lobsters
  • 4 basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Cioppino
  • 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 16 mussels
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups lobster sauce- from pre cooked lobsters
  • 1  lb of calamari
  • 4 scallops
  • 2 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 tablespoon basil
  • 2 pinches of red chili flakes
  • 4 Half lobster tails- removed from shell
  • 4 lobster claws - removed from shell
  • 8 shrimp (whole)
  • Bruschetta Aglio e Olio
  • 8 slices of rustic bread , toasted and rubbed with olive oil


For the lobster and lobster sauce
  1. In a large saucepan heat olive oil, onion, garlic until garlic is soft and lightly browned. Be careful not to burn.
  2. Meanwhile in a food processor blend tomatoes for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour tomatoes into heated olive oil and bring to a boil.
  4. Place both lobsters in boiling sauce pushing down with a wooden spoon.
  5. Cover pot and bring up to a boil.
  6. Lower heat and add salt, pepper and basil.
  7. Cook on low heat for approximately 15 minutes more.
  8. Remove lobster and cool completely.
  9. Cut tail from body and slice in half long ways. Put aside.
  10. Break off lobster claws.
  11. Place claws on a cutting board.
  12. Cover with clean dish cloth and hit with a mallet to break shell.
  13. Remove claw from shell.
  14. Put lobster meat aside.
For Cioppino
  1. In sauté pan, heat olive oil.
  2. Add garlic, mussels, butter, and white wine.
  3. Cover sauté pan, raise heat and burn off wine –mussels should be open.
  4. (Discard any that don’t open. This will take 1 ½ minute at most.)
  5. Add chicken stock and lobster sauce.
  6. Cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Lower heat and add calamari, scallops, parsley, basil, red chili flakes, salt and pepper.
  8. Add lobster and cook for 10 minutes more
  9. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink.
  10. In a large wide bowl; place mussels around outer edge with the open side up. Then spoon the rest of the Cioppino in to the center of mussels, topping with lobster tails.
  11. Sprinkle parsley over dish and serve with Bruschetta
  12. Optional: boil a pound of spaghetti and serve with the rest of the lobster sauce .

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