Sausage and Shrimp Cioppino

My requirements for dinner tonight were as follows: red wine and soup. Many soups are immediately out of the running with the red wine requirement. I hit the internet looking for a rustic Italian soup and found this recipe. It was exactly what I was looking for in that it was different, and would pair well with zinfandel. I found the recipe on the Foodnetwork by Giada De Laurentiis.

Some notes about the recipe that I did a little differently. I couldn’t find turkey sausage (bummer) so I used regular Italian sausage that wasn’t in casings. I added red chili flakes to make up for it not being spicy. I used more garlic than it called for and I used imported tomato paste in a tube. This in itself had more depth and flavor than the traditional small cans I grew up with and have always used. I’m a convert to the imported tomato paste in a tube. Last note, I’ve never made a recipe that had two cups of wine in it however, it won’t be the last as it created a lot of incredible flavor with the other ingredients.

A crusty loaf of bread and the zin made for a terrific, “I’m so full but want a little more” dinner. I loved the fennel in it. Delicious and easy to make. This came together pretty quickly so it would make for an easy week night dinner also.

Sausage and Shrimp Cioppino

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
2 cups white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preparation:

  1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the fennel, garlic, shallots, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the sausage and break into 1/2-inch pieces with a wooden spoon.
  5. Cook until brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add wine and scrape the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  7. Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, and bay leaf.
  8. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Uncover the pan and add the shrimp, beans, basil, and thyme.
  10. Simmer, uncovered, until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  11. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
  12. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  13. Ladle the cioppino into soup bowls and serve with crusty bread.

Delicious!

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