As part of my Valentine’s pressie to S, I decided to make a big ol’ romantic stew.

Now, stew may not necessarily conjure images of  lovey-dovey couples and island vacations, but I sincerely believe that when that stew involves lobster tails and fresh Dungeness crab and slow-simmered tomatoes, you’re definitely getting in the ballpark. So that’s what I made – a little Cioppino for my fella on this Valentine’s day…

First thing’s first… the broth. Preheated the oven to 400F and heated up the olive oil in my dutch oven over medium heat. Sautéed the chopped vegetables and garlic for a few minutes.

Added some dry white wine…

Turned the heat up and boiled for about 2 minutes.

Threw in the rest of the ingredients (clam juice, tomatoes, water, bay leaves, parsley, crushed red pepper and other spices)…

Simmered for about 15 minutes…

While that was simmering and making my house (and the hallway outside my apt) smell divine, I got crackin’ (snicker) on my shellfish… About a lb of shrimp…

One lobster tail…

And one Dungeness crab, cracked and quartered by the friendly seafood dept man at Safeway!

Seasoned the shrimp with a liberal shake (or ten) of Old Bay and a good squeeze of lemon. Steamed for a few minutes until opaque.

A good squeeze o’ lemon on the lobster tail, followed by a good steaming, until the shell was bright red and the meat looked pretty opaque.

Tossed the shrimp into the pot…

Split the lobster tail…

Pulled all the meat out of the tail and added that, along with my crab legs, to the pot of bubbling deliciousness! Nestled all the seafood down into the broth and popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes to heat the crab through. After that was done, I just turned the heat down and let it simmer in the oven until I was ready to serve.

While the Cioppino was in the oven, I made this super quick Lemon-Parsley linguine.

Just cooked the linguine and drained, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Then I quickly sautéed crushed garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute, added grated lemon peel and sautéed for another 30 seconds. Removed the pan from the heat and added the linguine. Returned it to the heat and mixed a good amount of roughly chopped parsley. Threw in half cup of the pasta cooking liquid and the lemon juice, stirring to incorporate. Seasoned with salt and pepper! I think I ended up adding just a little more pasta liquid – you just want to make a light moist sauce.

Totally easy. Totally delicious. Totally repeatable.

By this point, S was home from work and the Cioppino was a bubblin’ crude in the oven.

Time to eat!

Note: This is even better the second day!

Recipes adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients (Cioppino)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups bottled clam juice
2 15-ounce cans chopped tomatoes in juice
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon (scant) dried crushed red pepper
Coarse kosher salt
2 2-pound cooked Dungeness crabs, cleaned, quartered, cracked, or 2 pounds Alaska king crab legs


Ingredients (Linguine)
1/2 pound linguine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice