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Cacciucco Livorno-style

  • 2 hours
  • Difficult
  • Second Courses
One of the most famous fish soups, always served with slices of Tuscan bread brushed with garlic.
Toscana

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • ¾ oz garlic, chopped
  • 2 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ oz parsley, chopped
  • 3 ½ oz dry white wine
  • 7 oz baby octopuses
  • 5 oz shrimp
  • 4 oz San Pietro fish
  • lb tub gurnard
  • 3 oz ray fish
  • lb mussels
  • 7 oz clams
  • lb tomatoes, ripened
  • oz chili pepper, fresh
  • ¼ oz salt
  • 8 slices rustic bread
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

Step 1

Lightly fry the garlic in oil in a pan, as soon as it browns, add the parsley.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 1

Step 2

Add white wine and reduce.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 2

Step 3

Add baby octopus after washing carefully, cook for 10 minutes.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 3

Step 4

Add tub gurnard (or capone gallinella) and cook.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 4

Step 5

Add San Pietro fish (or Dory) cut into chunks and the ray.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 5

Step 6

Add crawfish.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 6

Step 7

Add the clams.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 7

Step 8

Finally, add mussels.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 8

Step 9

Add diced tomatoes, add salt and chili and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
Cut slices of bread, toast the slices and brush with olive il and with fresh garlic.
Serve in a soup dish by placing the bread slice on the bottom and covering with fish soup.

Cacciucco Livorno-style - step 9

Chef's Tips

When the soup goes in the oven, cover it with tin foil so that the shellfish do not become to dry.
The fish should be washed and their entrails removed; place them in the soup according to size, starting with the largest and ending with the smallest. This allows them to cook uniformly.
Add salt at the end so that you have a better control of the soup’s tastiness.

Food History

Although it is now known that cacciucco was invented by the fishermen of Livorno that would prepare this soup at the end of the day with the smallest fish of their catch, there are many stories that continue to circulate regarding the origins of this dish.
The most famous legend suggests that a family of fisherman in Livorno, after having lost everything in a storm, found themselves in total poverty. After three days of hunger, the children of the family, asked the other fishermen in the city to each donate them one fish. The children’s mother gathered some herbs and tomatoes from the garden and, with a little oil, prepared a sauce and added it to the fish. She then prepared a large bowl of soup with a piece of bread, upon which she placed the pieces of cooked fish and fish stock. The inviting aroma of the soup reached the family’s neighbors, who came over to ask for the recipes: and so cacciucco was born.

Did you know that…

The Italian word cacciucco comes from the Arabic kükük that means “small,” refering to the fact that this soup is made of small pieces of fish.

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