The first legend tells of a fisherman from Livorno who lost his life at sea in a shipwreck. His children were so hungry with nobody to provide for them after his death that they turned to all their neighbours for food. Everyone gave them different types of fish, with which their mother made a huge soup adding tomatoes, garlic, oil and slices of bread – thus creating the first cacciucco.
The second, and perhaps more realistic story, is that a lighthouse keeper created the soup. The Florentine Republic had prohibited the use of olive oil which he always used to fry his fish and so rather than go without, he made a fish soup instead.
- 1/2 kg cuttlefish
- 1/2 kg octopus
- 1/2 kg mixed fish (gurnard, sea-robin, scorpio fish)
- 1/2 kg mixed shellfish (clams and mussels)
- 1/2 kg of prawns and shrimp
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 5 sage leaves
- 1 chilli
- 1 tbs of tomato paste
- 2 dl of white wine
- 12 slices of tuscan bread
- 2 dl extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
In a saucepan , heat olive oil and fry the garlic, sage and chilli. Add the roughly chopped octopus and cuttlefish. Pour in wine and add tomato paste. Let it simmer for 20 minutes and stir occasionally.
In another saucepan add the mixed fish and the chopped dogfish. The fish heads should be cooked in broth with herbs and then blended. This puree which is quite dense, should be added to the first saucepan giving the soup a greater density and flavor. Simmer over a medium flame. When the octopus and cuttlefish are tender, add the crustaceans and the mixed seafood with shells. Continue to cook for 7-8 minutes until the mussels and clams open.
Place the bread, which should be toasted, rubbed with a garlic clove and seasoned with pepper in the bottom of the soup tureen. With a ladle, spoon the fish and sauce into the bowl.
Credits to star5112 | Seafood Stew