Mama Rita Ferro’s
Tomato Cioppino Sauce
Italian Recipe

This recipe comes from my friend and Italian cooking expert, Rita Ferro. She insists on making the sauce for cioppino (Italian seafood stew) a day in advance, so that the flavors have time to mature. As an added bonus, prepping ahead makes assembling the final dish pretty easy!


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1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups celery, sliced crosswise in ¼-inch pieces
2 cups loosely packed Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 22-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
6 ounces tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 cups water
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and celery and sauté until soft—about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the parsley, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir well.
  4. Add the pepper, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, wine and water and stir to combine.
  5. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and cook until reduced—approximately one hour.
  6. Adjust the seasonings.
  7. Cool thoroughly, then refrigerate overnight, or until ready to finish the cioppino.



Preparation Time: 
One hour and 20 minutes chopping and cooking time.