After hunkering down the past few days to wait out what many are calling the biggest snowstorm in years, this weekend’s weather was truly brilliant here in Toronto with bright sunshine and clear skies. Just what we needed for some serious winter weather fun.
Of course, coming in from the still sub-zero temps reminded us that despite the much-needed Vitamin D, it’s still stew weather.
For tonight’s feast, we went to our classic cioppino recipe, based on this epicurious.com recipe. It’s surprisingly quick, and doesn’t really demand too much attention to detail – which is a-ok in our books, we’ve got better things to do on the weekend, anyway, than sweat the details of family dinner.
The tomato base lends a lot for wine pairing flexibility – we’ve matched it with everything from Chianti to Riesling – and this time, perhaps out of yearning for summer weather, or maybe wishful thinking we were dining to the background sounds of water lapping the shore in the South of France, we went with rosé.
1. Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat, add onion, cook for a few minutes until translucent
2. Add diced garlic and bell pepper, cooking another minutes or two
3. Add herbs and spices, stir to coat vegetables
4. Add tomato paste, stir to coat vegetables
5. Add white wine, reduce by half
6. Add vegetable stock, clam juice and crushed tomatoes; partially cover and simmer for about an hour to let flavours blend
7. Enjoy a glass of wine while you wait – you deserve it
8. After simmering, taste for salt and pepper and adjust to your taste
9. Add in cleaned clams, submerge in liquid and cover until they fully open (in our experience this can take about 10 minutes)
10. Remove from broth, throwing away unopened ones, and set aside
11. Add in mussels until they have opened, about 5 minutes or so, remove from bowl and set aside. Optional: we like to remove the mussels from their shells, as we find all the shells of the clams and mussels take up a lot of room and it can get annoying to have to pick through your food. We leave the clams in their shells for presentation’s sake, but obviously, this is totally up to you.
14. Add in squid to broth, cook another minute or 2 (you want to leave squid until the last few moments as it can get rubbery if left simmering too long)
15. Return cooked mussels and clams to warm through
As mentioned above, this versatile recipe can go with many different wines -red and white. Because of higher acidity of the tomatoes, try to pair a higher acid wine, like Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Riesling or a white Bordeaux.
However, the classic match in Provence, where this dish’s French cousin, Bouillabaisse, is served by the ladle full, is dry rosé.
We like: Tawse “Sketches of Niagara” Rosé, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 2011
$15.95 Vintages 172643