Seafood Cioppino Pasta

I love a good S.F. Stye Cioppino but for some reason, we usually only have it around the holidays. I’ve also made quite a few seafood pasta dishes that are always super tasty. Since I love the flavors of both, I decided to create my own Seafood Cioppino Pasta. It takes a little time and planning ahead, but the layers and depth of flavor are unreal. To me this is the perfect marriage of Cioppino and Seafood Pasta.

I used to be a recipe follower, like for years! Then it turned into trying the recipe the first time the way it was written on a print out and making notes, adding or subtracting my own ingredients. My husband would always ask me why I didn’t just create my own. I needed that little nudge because it is the best feeling ever to just create something, especially when it turns out delicious! Chances are, it’s similar to something I’ve had or made before but I love adding my own touches. I now keep a notebook in the kitchen to take notes every night about what I cook. If it’s a keeper, I transfer it into a personal recipe notebook that I hope to either publish one day or at very least, pass on to our kids when they leave for college. If it needs work, at least I have a starting point to try to improve it next time.

This Cioppino Seafood Pasta recipe is an original that I’m super proud of. I wasn’t even sure what to call it, because I just haven’t seen anything quite the same anywhere. Some recipes call for clam stock in a seafood pasta. To me, there’s nothing quite like homemade seafood stock. It’s hard to believe you can get such amazing flavor from shellfish shells sautéed with aromatics. This isn’t a difficult recipe, it just takes time to simmer and develop flavor. It can actually be broken down into 3 steps, the stock, the marinara and the pasta. Try it, I promise you will not be disappointed and you’ll be able to taste the love that went into making it!

Seafood Cioppino Pasta

I love a good S.F. Stye Cioppino but for some reason, we usually only have it around the holidays. I've also made quite a few seafood pasta dishes. Since I love the flavors of both, I decided to create my own Seafood Cioppino Pasta.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people


  • Shellfish Shells such as lobster or shrimp shells
  • 2 Tbs. EVOO
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 1 Yellow Onion rough chop
  • 2 celery stalks rough chop
  • 2 Carrots rough chop
  • 6 oz. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Leek rough chop
  • 3 Garlic Cloves smashed
  • 2 Tarragon Sprigs fresh
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Thyme Sprigs
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion diced
  • 1 28 oz. Can San Marzano Tomatoes diced
  • 1 28 oz. Can San Marzano Tomato Sauce
  • 1 lb. Shrimp 16/20's, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb. clams
  • 1 lb. mussels
  • 1 lb. Fettuccine Pasta
  • Fresh Parsley chopped for garnish


  • Heat a large, cast iron or heavy duty pot with a large, flat bottom over medium heat. Add equal amounts of EVOO and butter so the butter doesn't burn. Add the shells and the additional 10 ingredients on the list. Saute until the tomato paste is slightly cooked and coating the vegetables. About 8 minutes. Add water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it go for as long as you can. A few hours if possible.
  • Next in a separate large pan with deep sides, make the marinara sauce. Heat the pan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Let it simmer over low heat while the seafood stock is going. Just as with the stock, the longer the better and deeper the flavor will be.
  • Prepare the seafood. Peel and devein the shrimp (add those shells to your stock or freeze until the next time). Rinse clams and mussels. Put seafood in the fridge until ready to use.
  • After the seafood stock has simmered for a few hours, carefully strain it and reserve it in a pot so it is ready to use in the pasta.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccine, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Ladle in 3-4 large ladle's of the seafood stock to the marinara and stir to combine. This will loosen the sauce. Add the shrimp, clams and mussels to the sauce, cover with a lid for about 5 minutes until the clams and mussels open, careful not to overcook the shrimp. Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine. Top with chopped fresh parsley, serve!


Make sure to reserve the extra seafood stock, it's like liquid gold!  You can freeze it if you don't have a use for it right away.
I like to serve this dish with roasted garlic and Levain sourdough.  To make the roasted garlic, heat the oven to 375F, cut a whole head of garlic through the top 1/3rd, horizontally.  Place in a piece of foil, drizzle with EVOO, wrap and roast for about an hour.  When you bring it out, you can pop the garlic out of the peels, it is sweet and mild, perfect to spread on warm sourdough.
I always save my shellfish shells in the freezer like I do with chicken bones until I have time to make stock.  For this recipe, I had lobster shells to use.  If you purchase lobster tails to make the recipe, feel free to add it in with the seafood to this dish.
Keyword Aly's Elegant Eats, Aly's Elegant Eats Seafood Cioppino Pasta, Seafood Pasta

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