Cacciucco is a typical fish soup from Livorno. Its origins, like most Tuscan dishes, are humble, as fishermen used to prepare and flavour this soup with the day’s unsold fish.
The etymology of the word stems from either the Turkish kürkük, meaning “small pieces”(the soup’s appearance), or from the Spanish cachuco, which indicates a type of snapper fish but also fish in general.
There are several ways of preparing cacciucco, as in Viareggio, but here we will prepare the most typical recipe: cacciucco alla Livornese!
1.8 kg of assorted fish (octopus, cuttlefish, mantis shrimps, redfish, monkfish, conger, gurnard)
600 g peeled tomatoes
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 stalk of celery
8 slices of bread
1 glass of red wine
Clean and wash the fish, sauté the onion, celery, chili and 2 cloves of chopped garlic in a saucepan with ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Add the octopus and cuttlefish, stir for a few minutes, add the glass of red wine and let it evaporate. Now add the bay leaf and chopped tomatoes.
Cook for 50 minutes over low heat, then add the slices of redfish, monkfish, conger, gurnard and cook for about ten minutes. Add the mantis shrimps, a tablespoon of chopped parsley and 2 cups of warm water. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, then add salt and pepper.
Toast the bread in the oven at 180 degrees, rub it with a clove of garlic and serve it along with each plate. Pour the soup and your cacciucco is ready!
Wine pairing: Spumante Brut Rosé Carpineto
Recipe courtesy salepepe.it