Look no further, this Cioppino recipe has been tweaked to perfection. Thick with tangy tomatoes, overflowing with fresh vegetables and four types of briny shellfish. The secret ingredient may surprise you.
In a large heavy bottom pot heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, leeks, celery, bay leaves, and a pinch of sea salt. Let vegetables soften and become translucent, about 7 minutes. But careful to not let them brown, lower heat as necessary. Add red and green bell peppers and let cook down for an additional 4 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add garlic and dried spices. Stir frequently and allow spices to become very fragrant and sauté for about 3 minutes.
Deglaze with white wine and add seafood broth, clam juice, strained tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to lowest setting. Taste and add salt as needed. If you are starting with a homemade seafood broth, then you will probably need to add more salt; a flat taste is a good indicator. Allow sauce to cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir intermittently, careful to avoid scorching or sticking.
Add crab legs and let simmer while covered for 5 minutes. Then add shrimp and clams and cook covered until the clams open. Lastly, add scallops and cook until firm, about 3 more minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately with lemon wedges and starch of choice (sourdough is mighty good, but a side of potatoes or rice works). Don't forget plenty of napkins!