ZUPPA DI PESCE or “Cacciucco”
SERVES 4 TO 6 PEOPLE
This is a very traditional recipe from Livorno, a city on the coast of Tuscany on the Tirreno Sea which is famous for the great seafood, along with the whole Mediterranean Sea. The “Cacciucco” was originally representing the “poor” popular cooking. The fishermen used to get all the little fish and scraps form the net at the end of the fishing day, since they were considered not worthy for to be sold… Of course nowadays this kind of 1 course meal evolved with our taste becoming really fancy and it will impress your guests that will enjoy to be part of the “homecooking team” !
So let’s start to put together some fabulous fish …
¼ # WHOLE CALAMARI (leave them all and clean)
½ # GROUPER
½ # RED SNAPPER
½ # MUSSELS
½ # LITTLE NECK CLAMS
6 SCALLOPS U10
6 OR 12 SHRIMPS U 10
1 CAN or 3 # CA. WHOLE PEELED TOMATOES ( S. Marzano)
1 cup chopped red onion
¼ cup each of : chopped celery, chopped garlic, chopped basil, chopped parsley
1 or 2 tblsp. Red pepper flakes
1 BAY LEAF
½ cup of EVOO.
½ glass of dry red wine ( Chianti will do …)
1 loaf of Tuscan bread and 2 cloves of garlic
Salt and freshly grounded black pepper to taste
Put in a large deep sautee pan ¼ of EVOO, the onions, stir it up a few minutes and add the garlic. Let it “sing” or color a little bit, add only half of the parsley(the rest we’ll use for garnish at the end),the red flakes (and this is called “soffritto”…),then start to put the clams(that will take a little longer to get open),the mussels, the calamari, the bay leaf, then the wine. Let evaporate, then add the grouper and after a couple of minutes the snapper.
Let it simmer then add the peeled tomatoes that you’ve previously chopped, salt and pepper to taste and cook it for about 15 minutes on medium low heat.
Prepare the scallops and the shrimps coating them with some EVOO, salt and pepper.
Heat up the grill and cook them up meanwhile the soup is simmering.
Slice your loaf of bread about 1/3 inch thick, rub it up with again very little EVOO and grill it as well. Once it’s nice and crispy rub it with the garlic cloves and place like, 1 or 2 slices in each of your 6 serving bowls.
Now your Zuppa is ready to go on the bread. Place 2 shrimps and 1 scallop on top of each plate, drizzle everything with the basil and the rest of the parsley and enjoy. You might want to make sure that you’ll have some extra bread because this Zuppa is going to be so tasty that you’ll can’t help it but keep dipping the garlic bread in the broth!