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Cacciucco: the typical Livorno fish soup recipe

Cacciucco: the typical Livorno fish soup recipe


extra virgin olive oil

He caccucco it’s a fish soup typical of the gastronomic tradition Livorno and Viareggio. It seems that its origins date back even to the time of the Phoenicians but in reality what we know for sure is that it is a very old recipe, belonging to the poor kitchen, made with leftovers of unsold fish, or caught between the nets of fishermen, and generally cooked in large pots, between one cat and another, at the end of the day.

Originally the preparation included at least 13 types of fish species (gurnard, octopus, dogfish, horse mackerel, conger, moray eel, capon, scorpionfish, goby, blenny, big mouth, cicada and cuttlefish) which, however, over of time, have reduced to no more than 6-7, also based on the catch of the day.

Today there are many versions of cacciucco, or caciucco, if you prefer (although here the Tuscans will sulk their noses a bit), even gourmet, with the addition of shellfish and other precious varieties to dominate . Here, we have prepared it with prawns, molluscs, gurnard fillets, monkfish and rock fish: expertly pan-fried, respecting the different cooking timeswith a spicy sauce made from fresh tomatoes, made from fish waste.

The result will be a second rich and succulent, to be served in an earthen pan, accompanied by fragrant slices of garlic-flavoured toast, and brought to the table for lunch Sunday with family or alone cena in the company of friends.

For optimal success, ensure that the raw material is very cool and, to take advantage of the preparation times, get help with the cleaning operations from your trusted fishmonger.

According to some sources, the name cacciucco derives from the Turkish Little, which means minute, small in size. In Tuscany, the term then took on the meaning of blend and, with this word, we designate any mixture based on legumes, chicken or game: even if the cacciucco par excellence remains that of fish, proposed here.

Find out how to prepare cacciucco by following the step-by-step procedure and tips. If you liked this recipe, try the fish soup or Brodetto de Fano.

How to prepare cucciucco

First prepare the herbs for the sauté: peel the carrots and cut them 1.

Dice them 2.

Clean the celery and cut it into cubes 3.

Thinly slice the onion 4.

Clean baby octopus 5: remove the eyes and beak from the tentacles, empty the bag and rinse them well under running water. Then dab the molluscs with a sheet of paper towel and cut them into small pieces.

Clean the cuttlefish: gently remove the head and tentacles from the coat, then remove the eyes and beak. Rinse them well, pat them dry with paper towel and cut them into strips 6.

Heat a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet 7.

Combine the smells 8 and let them fry.

Then add the baby octopus and cuttlefish 9.

Moisten with white wine ten.

Cover with water 11 and cook for about 20 minutes over low heat.

In the meantime, continue to devote yourself to cleaning the fish and gradually keep the leftovers aside: you will need them to prepare the sauce. Shell the monkfish, remove the head and separate the pulp from the central bone; then divide it into fillets 12.

Take care of rock fish 13: remove the scales and remove the head, fins and tail.

Remove the head from the shrimp, remove the shell and, using a toothpick, remove the dark filament from the intestine. When done, arrange them on a plate. 14 and keep aside.

Wash the tomatoes and cut them into cubes 15.

When the octopus and cuttlefish are cooked, remove them from the pan 16 and keep aside.

Pour the chopped tomatoes into the same pan where you cooked the shellfish 17 and let them simmer for a few minutes.

Add fish heads and bones 18 kept away.

Spice with sliced ​​fresh chilli 19 and cook the sauce for half an hour, adding a drop of water if necessary.

Once the cooking time has elapsed, remove the fish scraps and pass the tomatoes through a vegetable mill. 20.

Return the resulting sauce to the heat 21.

Add reserved cuttlefish and baby octopus 22 and leave to flavor over low heat for about ten minutes; then, every 10 minutes or so, add the other species of fish, starting with those with longer cooking times.

Add the monkfish 23.

After 10 minutes, pour the rockfish into the pan 24.

Continue with the peeled prawns 25.

Also add the gurnard fillets 26.

Last with mule 27salt if necessary and bring to the boil: the red mullet should not cook for more than 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the bread in a pan 28 or on a hot plate.

Rub the toasted bread slices with 1 garlic clove 29.

Arrange a few slices on individual plates 30.

Pour the soup now ready 31 on bread.

Flavor with a handful of chopped parsley 32.

Bring the cacciucco to the table 33 and serve hot.


It is advisable to consume the hot and freshly prepared cacciucco. Alternatively, it can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for A day massive.

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