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Yield 10 servings


  • 2 onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 whole-cooked Dungeness crabs, (about 6 pounds) or about 6 pounds lobster, steamed
  • 1 pound manila or little neck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
  • 3 pounds Pacific rockfish fillets or other firm white fish, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 loaves sourdough bread
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

How to Make It

  1. Sauté first 3 ingredients in hot oil in a large stock pot until tender; stir in next 13 ingredients (wine through lemon juice). Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Let cool; cover and chill at least 12 hours.

  2. Pry off apron or tail flap from crabs. Lift off top shell, saving cream-colored "crab butter" from inside the top shell, and discard shell. Pull out and discard feathery gills adhering to the body meat. Discard stomach mass, and break crab into left and right sections. Twist legs and claws from body. Cut each body section crosswise into 2 pieces. Crack legs with a wooden mallet. Set body pieces, cracked claws, and "crab butter" aside.

  3. Discard any raw clams that are open.

  4. Warm chilled tomato mixture in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.

  5. Place crab, clams, shrimp, and fish in a large stock pot. Pour the warm tomato broth over seafood; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 10 to 12 minutes. Discard any clams that did not open during cooking. Serve with sourdough bread; garnish, if desired.

  6. Note: Dungeness is typically sold pre-cooked.