Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fish "Brodetto" ( Brodetto di pesce)

The Fish "Brodetto" is a recipe from the Abruzzi's central cost region, elsewhere it will be called Fish Soup (Zuppa di Pesce). Be careful, it is not a soup the way we mean it in Northern Europe. Brodetto (which means literally:" little broth") is made of different varieties of Mediterranean fish (Mullet, red mullet, codfish, Tub Garnard, Anglerfish etc...) and seafruit (clams, moussels , shrimps, Mantis shrimps etc...) just the ones you will find at the fish market the day you will go buy. Obviously the taste will vary depending on what you use. Today I went to my favourite fish shop and I was so lucky to find some fantastic Italian clams, codfishes and red mullets just arrived from the Adriatic sea....then...Brodetto! This dish is one of those in Italy we would prepare for the Christmas Eve dinner, when, by tradition, we celebrate the "Vigilia" and we just eat fish. The making of this dish is a little complex but, believe me, it is worth to try... This a perfect dish to celebrate your Christmas the Italian way!

Serving 4
1 Codfish
2 medium Red Mullets
8 small Red Mullets
2 handfuls of small Italian Clams
1 big cup of red cherry tomatoes
4 Galric Cloves
1 Bunch of fresh parsley
1 Small glass of dry white wine
Unrefined grey sea salt to taste
1 piece of red hot chili
10 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil
Pepper to taste
1/2 carrot
1/2 small onion
1/2 celery rib
2 cups of water

Place the clams in a bowl full of water and let them rest.
1) Prepare the fish broth: wash and clean the fish, entrails should be removed.

Cut the head and the bones of the Codfish and Mullets (see photos)

Cut  the fish in pieces and set apart. Use the head and the bones to prepare the fish broth.

 Pour 3 olive oil Tbs in a pan, add the finely cut carrot, celery and onion, let it fry few seconds. Add the fish bones and half galss of wine. when the wine evaporates add 1 cup of water, cover and let it cook. When boiling add another cup of water and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, take off the fire and filter the broth. Take off the fish bones.

Keep the fish broth aside.

2) Precook the clams. Drain the clams. Add 2 Tbs of olive oil in a small pan, one finely cut garlic clove and few small pieces of hot chili. When frying add the clams and the left white wine. Cover and let it cook. After few minutes add 1 Tbs of finely cut parsley. Cover and cook till all the clams are opened. Set aside
3) Prepare the Fish "Brodetto"

Finely chop garlic, chili, parsley and cut the cherry tomatoes in small cubes.

Pour 4 Tbs of olive oil in a large pan, add 3 finely cut garlic and red chili.

Add the tomatoes. Add salt mix and cook for few minutes.

Cook till well melted, add pepper to taste.

Add the fish and the parsley. Bring to a boil.

When almost boiling add the fish broth, one ladle at the time. Untill all the broth is melted with the rest.

When the fish is almost cooked add the clams together with their cooking water. Mix carefully, try  not to break the fish. Cook few additional minutes. Add some more parsley. Your Fish "Brodetto" is ready!

Serve it with 2 slides of toasted Italian bread and few drops of olive oil. Buon appetito!

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