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.
Sgombri All’aceto. From Puglia. Mackerel is a very cheap and tasty fish. It is readily available and stocks are ample. There is a campaign at the moment to get the British to eat more, especially in chip shops Fish Fight Here in Bari there is no such aversion. This is a very simple recipe, but you must use very fresh mackerel. The blanching should be very brief, be careful not to overcook. The traditional way to time the cooking is to recite the pater noster or Lord’s prayer.
fresh mackerel, cleaned and filleted
white wine vinegar
garlic, finely chopped
fresh mint, finely chopped
Mackerel in vinegar ingredients
Blanche the mackerel fillets for a few seconds in boiling, salted water. I’ll start you off. “Our Father… ” 🙂
Put the fillets into a non-metallic dish and cover with vinegar.
Leave to marinate for an hour.
Remove the mackerel from the vinegar and transfer to a serving plate.
Dress with olive oil, garlic and mint.
Note: If you don’t want to eat the mackerel immediately, they will keep for a while in the fridge if you cover them with olive oil.