Tuscan Seafood Stew (Cacciucco)

Cacciucco

Cacciucco

Todd Coleman

This Tuscan soup traditionally uses fish considered "bottom of the boat"—those left behind after more valuable fish have sold. The base is octopus, squid, tomatoes, wine, garlic, sage, and dried red chiles; other fish are added at the end of cooking, before the soup is served over garlic-rubbed bread. —Emily Wise Miller, from "Livorno's Pride" (April 2008)

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food

Tuscan Seafood Stew (Cacciucco)
This tangy, rich fish stew, packed with mussels, squid, octopus, and shrimp is elevated from its humble Tuscan roots as a soup of fish market leftovers.
Yield: serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh sage leaves
  • 12 tsp. red chile flakes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 12 oz. calamari, cleaned and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 12 oz. baby octopus, cleaned and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14-oz.) can chopped tomatoes with juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 (1-lb.) monkfish filet, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 (1-lb.) red snapper filet, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 12 oz. large shell-on shrimp
  • 12 oz. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 8 slices (1″-thick) country-style white bread

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add parsley, sage, chile flakes, and 4 cloves garlic, minced, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add calamari and octopus, and cook, stirring occasionally, until opaque, about 4 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir well, and cook until paste has darkened slightly, about 1 minute. Add wine, and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes along with their juice, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until seafood is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in stock, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add monkfish, and cook, covered, until just firm, about 5 minutes. Add snapper and shrimp to the pot and scatter mussels over top. Cook, covered, without stirring (so as not to break up the seafood), until the snapper is just cooked through and the mussels have just opened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Toast bread, and rub liberally with remaining garlic clove. Ladle stew between bowls, over bread or with bread on the side.