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Photo of salmon and root vegetables ready to be roasted




By Chef Colette Nelson, Ludvig’s Bistro, Sitka, AK



  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil

  • 1 Tablespoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise (ground in a coffee or spice grinder)

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil)

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic

  • 1/2 dried chipotle pepper

  • 3 oz. tomato paste

  • Pinch of sugar


  • About 30 Alaska Spot Prawn shells (reserve prawns for cioppino)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 8 8 saffron threads

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 Alaska Grown yellow onion, diced

  • 1 medium Alaska Grown fennel bulb, trimmed and diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 4 cups Ludvigs Marinara Sauce (see recipe)

  • 4 cups Saffron Shrimp Stock (see recipe)

  • 8 oz. wild Alaska Black Cod tips, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 wild Alaska Dungeness Crabs, cooked, legs separated and cracked

  • 16 wild Alaska Spot Prawns, peeled and deveined (reserve shells for Saffron Shrimp Stock)

  • 16 Alaska Mussels, cleaned and beards removed

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley and dried chili flakes, for garnish



  1. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine oregano and next 9 ingredients. Blend (in 2 batches, if necessary) until well combined, transfer into a large bowl; set aside. In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute garlic until golden, about 1 minute. Add chipotle and tomato paste.

  2. Stir in reserved tomato mixture. Let simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Taste and add more salt, pepper or a pinch of sugar, as needed.

  3. Reserve 1 quart of marinara for cioppino. Remaining sauce can be refrigerated or frozen (for a tomato-based dish).


  1. Roast shells on a rimmed sheet pan at 400F for 15 minutes. Remove pan and carefully deglaze pan with white wine. Pour shells and wine into large stock pot and place over medium-high heat.

  2. Add 2 quarts water, saffron, turmeric and paprika. Stir; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Strain broth into a large bowl through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding shells. Reserve 1 quart of stock for cioppino. Remaining stock can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 days.


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add onion and fennel; saut, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic and fennel seed; stir and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add red wine and cook about 8 minutes or until reduced by half. Add 4 cups Ludwigs Marinara Sauce and 4 cups Saffron Shrimp Stock; stir and let cook 5 minutes.

  2. Add black cod pieces and crab legs; reduce heat to a low simmer (do not let boil); cover pot and simmer 2 minutes. Add mussels and cover; simmer about 3 minutes or until muscles start to pop open; stir in prawns and cook 1 minute.

  3. Remove pan from heat. Taste broth; add more salt and pepper, as needed.

  4. To serve, use a slotted spoon and place some seafood in center of a large shallow platter or bowl; pour some broth around seafood. Garnish with parsley and chili flakes, if desired.

Make it easy: prep all seafood first and keep cold; remove from refrigerator about 10 minutes before cooking. Be creative and substitute other seafood; snow crab in place of Dungeness or rockfish in place of black cod. Make shrimp stock and marinara one day ahead. Serve with lots of grilled bread.


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