Caciucco (Tuscan Seafood Stew)

Caciucco (Tuscan Seafood Stew)

Alessandro Clemente

Italians really come alive during the summer months. With the Mediterranean sunshine shining down on coastal towns up and down the length of the country it is home to some of the freshest, tastiest coastal recipes.

In Tuscany there are a million and one ways to enjoy a fine meal. This region sits on the western coast of Italy, encompassing countless vineyards, traditional farms, and well-fished harbors. Along the western edge of this famed region you will find all of the splendors of the Mediterranean seas present in local cooking. This region encompasses the beloved Cinque Terre and makes great culinary use of the many fishing villages present in Tuscany. One recipe to enjoy for a Tuscan vibe this evening is a Tuscan Seafood Stew, or Cacciucco. As you might expect, with the varieties of local seafood, this dish takes advantage of several. Great to share on a warm summer evening and rather simple in preparation, this dish is a great starter at al fresco dinner parties.

What You’ll Need

  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 12 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 5 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 12 ounce calamari, cleaned and divided into 1″ pieces
  • 12 ounce baby octopus, cleaned and divided into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine (a dryer bottle works best)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes with juice
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 pound of monkfish filet, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 pound of red snapper filet, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 12 ounces of  large shrimp
  • 12 ounces of mussels, scrubbed clean
  • 8 slices of country-style white bread

Preparation

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add parsley, sage, chile flakes, and 4 cloves garlic, minced. Cook for about a minute or until fragrant. Add calamari and octopus, and cook, until opaque. This means for about four minutes. Add tomato paste, stir well, and cook until paste darkens a few shades. This is for about a minute or so. Add wine, and cook while stirring constantly until all liquid evaporates. This should take about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the can of tomatoes in their juice. Season with salt and pepper and continues cooking, and cook. In ten minutes seafood will have softened until tender. Stir in fish stock and cover. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add monkfish and cook another 5 minutes. Add snapper and shrimp and place mussels over top. Cook, covered, without stirring  until the snapper is cooked through and mussels are all open. This is for about 10 minutes.
  3. Toast your white bread with a layer of garlic and oil on it. Once toasted until golden, remove from oven and serve hot along with the stew.

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