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Romagna Fish Soup

Brodetto alla Romagnola

Brodetto di pesce 1 JPG This "brodetto", or broth, was initially made as a poor dish by fishermen of the Adriatic who used their catches that were difficult to sell due either to poor quality or because they were too small.  As always, every town along the coast has its own variant of this recipe, but the basic recipe is always the same; several types of fish are always used and vary depending on the season.

Difficulty: medium

Ingredients: 2 kg of fresh mixed fish for soups (rockfish, tub gurnard, conger, mantis shrimp, squid, monkfish, cuttlefish, prawns, crabs, mussels and clams... Depending on what is available), 1 cup of olive oil, 2 full spoonfuls of tomato concentrate, a cup of white wine vinegar, a cup of dry white wine, half an onion, 4 cloves of garlic, parsley, salt and freshly ground pepper.

Preparation: in a pot, preferably with a earthenware bottom and quite wide, when the diced onions and garlic in olive oil get golden brown, add the finely chopped parsley, and the cleaned and cut up squid and cuttlefish. Let it cook on low heat for about 15 minutes covered, stirring occasionally until it starts to form a little liquid. Then add the vinegar, the tomato paste, and a little salt - the fish will give the soup a lot of flavor, so salt at the end if needed - and the pepper.  Bring everything slowly to a boil in the covered pot before adding the fish, taking care to start with the biggest pieces and then, 6/7 minutes later add in the smaller ones and finally the wine.  Cook over moderate heat without moving the fish for about 20 minutes. Add the clams, mussels, and mantis shrimp last, and finish it off with a dusting of diced parsley. Cooking time varies depending on the quantity and size of the fish, but usually it takes about 40 minutes for the fish to get tender. Check each fish with a fork to see if it is done. If the sauce is too runny, take the cover off the pot and let some liquid evaporate. Before serving the soup, put the cover back on and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve it with toasted bread.

Suggested white wine Pinot bianco dei Colli di Faenza DOC

 Recipe sent by: Milena Tosi - Viserba di Rimini (RN)

Last modified Jul 16, 2012

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