Fresh Tuna Cioppino
Garibaldi House

Home Version (Serves 4)

¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 shallot chopped
½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced and quartered
1 tablespoon Sofrito (optional)
3 garlic cloves minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp Asian garlic chili sauce/paste (or ¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes)
1 rounded tsp salt preserved lemon (optional)
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
¾ cup clam juice
½ tsp dried basil
1lb fresh Albacore tuna cut into ½ to ¾ inch cubes (add all remaining pieces and flakes), or a combination of 1 to 2 lbs of firm white fish or shell fish.

Process:
Sautee onion, shallots, fennel and sofrito in oil until they begin to soften (about 10 minutes). Add salt, garlic, tomato paste, chili sauce, salt preserved lemon and fresh bay leaves. Sautee for an additional two minutes.

Add fire roasted tomatoes, marinara sauce, clam juice and basil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour.

Best to cool the sauce and refrigerate it for at least a day, but you can proceed directly to finish and serving.

When preparing to serve, heat soup to a light simmer. Carefully add tuna and mix/turn gently with large spoon. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let tuna sit (mix gently once or twice) for 4 to 5 minutes, or until Tuna is just turning opaque in the center.

Serve immediately in shallow bowls with thick crusty bread and a hearty red wine.

Options: Substitute white wine for clam juice. Use rockfish, catfish or other solid texture fish. Shellfish can also be added. The base also makes a good pasta sauce.

According to Tish, "While the recipe is still excellent without the sofrito or the salt preserved lemons, they are what makes this dish truly special. Lemon juice or lemon zest can be substituted for the salt preserved lemon, but some of that haunting and lingering citrus background will be sacrificed."

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