Cioppino or Brodetto di Pesce, is a delicious rustic Italian stew brimming with fresh seafood cooked in a tomato broth with wine, garlic and herbs. This hearty stew is traditionally served with grilled bread rubbed with garlic. Although there are many ingredients in this seafood stew, the dish comes together quite quickly. This dish can be a simple soup with just the fresh seafood cooked in broth and tomatoes, or you can use the ingredients to build a rich flavorful stew. Feel free to use whatever fish and shellfish you choose. I like to use a firmer white fish such as cod, monkfish or halibut, littleneck clams and squid, but you could use mussels, shrimp or scallops, as well. Finish the stew with a splash of lemon juice and sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, parsley, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add the wine and cook for about a minute. Add oregano and bay leaves and cook for 30 seconds. Add 2 cups clam juice (or stock) and tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 20 minutes.
Add the clams and mussels, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the squid, white fish and the remaining 1/2 cup clam juice (or stock). Cover and cook until the fish is just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir in the lemon juice.