Cacciucco alla Livornese


Very few dishes like cacciucco have changed over time. This dish was made for the crew’s rowers. Unfortunately due to the lack of fish the variety is lower. It is a traditional dish liked by everyone and is getting even better.

Ingredients for 6 people

500g of small cuttle fish
500g of octopus
300g of fresh shark
500g of fish stock
500g of mixed seafood (clams, cockels and mussels)
500g of crayfish, prawn, scampi, white wine.
1 tablespoon of tomato puree, olives, garlic, sage, chili pepper, pepper and 12 slices of garlic bread.

Place a casserole dish with olive oil, garlic, sage and chili pepper on medium heat and gently fry. Afterwards, dowse the octopus and small cuttle fish in white wine, adding the tomato puree and slowly cook for 20 minutes. Gradually add the shark pieces and liquid to the casserole dish. Cook the casserole on a steady heat. When the octopus and small cuttlefishes are tender, add the mixed seafood. Cook it for a further 6-7 minutes until the clams and mussels open themselves. The garlic bread is then toasted and put in the bottom of small terrines, then evenly laddle the fish and stock into the dish.
Naturally, this is best served with a young red wine.

In order to express the amount of love that the Livornese people have for their cacciucco, read this little story:

A woman from the Borgo Cappuccini took her six month old baby to a doctor at the hospital. The baby had a red face and was sweating. “Do something Doctor”, said the alarmed woman.

The doctor felt the baby’s swollen belly. He then asked the woman what she had given the baby and what he had drunk. “Not even half a glass of wine” she said. “Half a glass of wine!!! Are you crazy? You should only give him milk!” said the doctor. “Doctor?!” “Are you suggesting I give him milk after cacciucco, that’s disgusting!!”.

Recipes kindly supplied by Il Tirreno


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