Zuppa di pesce alla Brindisina. A couple of weeks ago I got together with a couple of friends in order to cook a fish ‘soup’ . Soup is a bit of a misnomer, as there isn’t really that much liquid involved. It was an all day project involving a trip to the fish market in the morning, lots of preparation in the afternoon (why are mussels so time consuming to clean? I’d happily eat them every day if I didn’t have to spend an age scraping and pulling off various unsavoury parts :-) ) and cooking and eating in the evening. I glad to say it was worth the effort. Serves 4
Fish soup ingredients
600g scorpion fish (or any other firm white fish – we used hake), cleaned and definned.
350g squid, cleaned and cut into pieces.
150g cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into pieces.
300g mussels, cleaned and debearded.
200g clams, scrubbed
300g tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped.
1 stick celery, finely chopped.
1 onion, finely chopped.
1 sprig parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped.
1/2 glass olive oil
4 slices stale bread
Soften the onion and celery in a large pan. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the start to break down and form a sauce.
Add the squid and cuttlefish and cook until they start to become tender – 10-20 minutes.
Add the mussels, clams and chilli, stir and then lay the fish on top. Cover and cook over a low heat until the fish sarts to flake (check from time to time with a fork).
To serve, place a slice of bread in the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle on a little garlic and parsley and spoon the soup on top.
Bavette con i cannolicchi. I came across these today in the fish market. I was at a loss what to do with them and in the end cooked them using the same recipe as vermicelli con le vongole. Very nice they were too :-)
I had quite a few clams left over from the previous recipe, so I had a look around and came up with this recipe. It has very few ingredients, and allows the flavour of the clams to shine through. Click here for the basic risotto method. Serves 6
risotto with clams ingredients
600 grams risotto rice
2 kilograms clams — scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Put the clams into a saucepan and cover with water
Bring to the boil and simmer until the clams open.
Remove the clams and reserve the water.
Remove the meat from the clams, reserving a few for decoration.
Add the butter and oil to a frying pan and fry the clam meat and parsley for a couple of minutes.
Add the rice and stir fry until the rice starts to turn transparent
Add a little of the cooking liquid and wait for it to be absorbed, stirring all the time.
Keep adding the cooking liquid, little by little, until the rice is cooked.
This is a real Italian classic. There are a lot of different recipes for vermicelli con le vongole, some using tomatoes and/or chilli, but this one uses neither. The juice from the clams provides the sauce. Serves 4
vermicelli with clams ingredients
1 kilogram clams — Scrubbed
2 cloves garlic — thinly sliced
350 grams vermicelli
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Discard any clams with broken shells or which are open
Heat some oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and clams
Cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes
Remove from the heat and lift out the clam. Discard any that remained closed
Remove the clams from the shell, saving a few for decoration
Strain the liquid from the saucepan into a frying pan and add the meat from the clams.
Cook the vermicelli until al dente, drain and add to the frying pan.