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Cacciucco di Pesce (Tuscan Seafood Stew)



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La Belle Cuisine


Cacciucco di Pesce
(Tuscan Seafood Stew)

Union Square Cafe Cookbook:
160 Favorite Recipes from
New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano,
1994, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

“Here’s our version of cacciucco – a fragrant seafood stew enjoyed in
the western coast towns of Italy’s Tuscany and Liguria regions. It’s
a refreshing alternative to the French bouillabaisse, substituting
orange zest for saffron.  … serve with homemade garlic bread.”

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
Reserved shrimp shells (see below)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups peeled and sliced onions
2 teaspoons aniseed
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup dry white vermouth
2 pounds fresh tomatoes,
cored and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
4 cups fish stock

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white and light
green parts only, washed
2 cups cored and sliced fennel bulb
1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini or
yellow squash
1 tablespoon minced garlic
18 littleneck, manila, or
other small clams
1 pound monkfish or other
firm-fleshed white fish,
filleted and cut into
2-inch chunks
18 small mussels, beards
removed, scrubbed
1/2 pound medium shrimp, cleaned,
shells reserved for the broth
3/4 pound cleaned calamari,
cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 teaspoon minced orange zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over high heat, add the shrimp shells,
and stir well for 3 to 4 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the
garlic, onions, aniseed, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onions are
tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.
2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to dissolve. Add the ver- mouth and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, and bay
leaf and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the fish stock, bring slowly to a
boil, and skin any foam from the surface with a small ladle. Lower the
heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Strain in a colander set over a
bowl, pressing the solids to extract the maximum amount of broth. The
broth can be prepared several days ahead up to this point and held,
covered and refrigerated, or up to 2 months frozen.
3. To prepare the seafood, heat the olive oil over moderate heat in the soup pot and sauté the leeks, fennel, zucchini, and garlic until softened, 2 to
3 minutes.
4. Pour in the reserved fish broth and bring to a simmer. Add the clams
and monkfish and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until the clams open. Add
the mussels, shrimp, calamari, and orange zest and simmer 3 to 5
minutes, or until the mussels open. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the stew into a warm soup tureen, sprinkle with chopped
parsley and serve.

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