Recipe Review: Big Seafood Soup from Amalfi (Zuppa di Pesce)

There are all sorts of  seafood stews – bouillabaise from Marseilles, cioppino from San Francisco.  In Molto Italiano, Mario Batali published a recipe for Zuppa di Pesce, an Italian seafood stew from the Amalfi coast.  Unlike bouillabaise, which requires fish stock and the bread-based thickener rouille, this Zuppa di Pesce is simple to make.  First saute some aromatics (onion, celery, garlic) with some red pepper flakes.  Then add two cups of tomato sauce, two cups of white wine (Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck is what I use for cooking wine) and whatever combination of fish and shellfish you want.  The recipe calls for red mullet, langoustines, shrimp, clams, and mussels, but I used what was available at the local grocery store: a whole red snapper, scallops, shrimp, and clams.  The seafood cooks for about 5-10 minutes.  Top with some parsley (and marjoram if available) and serve with some toasted fresh bread rubbed with a little bit of garlic.  The whole fish broke down in the soup, leaving a lot of bones, which add flavor but make the eating a bit messy.  An alternative would be to use some cut-up fish fillets.  I used Chef Batali’s basic tomato sauce, which is a really good version that adds carrots for sweetness and is (untraditionally) seasoned with thyme.  I add about a tablespoon of salt to the basic tomato sauce recipe.  Simple, healthy, fresh, and lots of flavor.

Link to recipe here.

Link to Molto Italiano here.

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