Chef Riccardo Messora from Melbourne’s Tutto Bene restaurant shares his recipe for cacciucco Livorno style, which is a fragrant one-pot dish of fish and crustaceans. This traditional fish stew is a dish of the poor, originally prepared by the fishermen using the catch that remained from the sale.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 chilli
- 1 sprig sage
- 1 glass red wine
- 500 g octopus, softened, chopped
- 500 g cuttlefish, cut into small pieces
- 500 g canned tomatoes, reserving the liquid
- 300 g dogfish, cut into pieces (or similar fish)
- mirepoix (combined chopped onion, carrot and celery)
- 500 g mixed crustaceans (lobster, prawns, shrimps)
- 500 g mixed mussels and clams
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat. Add the garlic, chilli and sage, and cook until the garlic browns. Deglaze the dish with a little of the red wine. Increase heat to high and cook until the wine reduces.
Remove the garlic, chilli and sage from the dish. Add the octopus and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the cuttlefish, and cook until golden brown. Add the remaining red wine and cook until the wine reduces. Add the tomatoes in their liquid and reduce heat to low.
Meanwhile, place the dogfish and mirepoix in a saucepan of cold water. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. When the dogfish is cooked, remove it from the broth. Pass the remaining liquid and mirepoix through a mouli. Add this to the octopus-tomato mixture.
When the octopus and cuttlefish begin to soften, add the mixed crustaceans and cooked dogfish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Five minutes before the end of cooking, add the mussels and clams. When the mussels open up, remove the stew from heat.
Divide the stew among serving bowls. Serve immediately with toasted bread that's been rubbed with a cut garlic clove.