MARCHE-STYLE FISH SOUP
There are as many recipes for brodetto as there are regions along the Adriatic coast. This version is traditionally made at San Benedetto del Tronto in Marche.
The Silver Spoon, Phaidon Press
• 11 ounces mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
• 11 ounces clams, scrubbed
• 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 11 ounces large cuttlefish, cleaned
• 1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and sliced
• 5 just-ripe tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped
• 1 fresh Chile, seeded and finely chopped
• scant 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
• 5 1/2 pounds mixed fish, such as scorpion fish, monkfish fillet, mackerel and red snapper, cleaned and cut into chunks if necessary
• 11 ounces mantis shrimp, slipper lobsters or langoustines
• 11 ounces small cuttlefish, cleaned
• salt and pepper
Discard any mussels and clams with broken shells or those that do not shut immediately when sharply tapped.
Place them in two separate skillets over high heat until they open. Discard any that remain closed.
Remove some of the mussels and clams from their shells and leave the rest in situ.
Heat the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole, add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add the large cuttlefish and cook for 10 minutes, then add the green bell pepper, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Cook over low heat for a further 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, chile and vinegar and cook until the vinegar has evaporated.
Gradually add the fish and shellfish in layers, beginning with the least delicate and finishing with the mussels, and the mantis shrimp, slipper lobsters or langoustines.
Cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.