Artusi's Cacciucco recipe
From the pages of "Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well"
Doodle! Let me have a chat about this word which is perhaps not intended that in Tuscany and on the beaches of the Mediterranean, for the reason that in the countries bordering the Adriatic is replaced by the voice brodetto.
In Florence, on the other hand, brodetto is a soup that is used for Easter eggs, that is a soup of bread in broth, tied with egg shake and lemon tartness. The confusion of these and similar terms between province and province, in Italy, is such that it is soon to form a second Babel.
Returning to cacciucco, I will say that this, of course, is a dish in use more than elsewhere in the ports of the sea, where the fish is fresh and of the necessary species. Every fishmonger is able to show you the qualities that best suit a good cacciucco; but as good as you want, it is always a very serious food and you must beware of making a meal out of it.
For 700 grams of fish, finely chop half an onion and fry it with oil, parsley and two whole cloves of garlic. As soon as the onion takes color, add 300 grams of tomatoes in pieces, or preserves, and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the tomatoes, pour a finger of vinegar on them if it is strong, and two if it is weak, diluted in a good glass of water. Let it boil for a few more minutes, then throw away the garlic and squeeze the rest well.
Put the juice back on the fire, together with the fish that you will have ready, as they would be, talking about the most common, sole, mullet, capon fish, sea dogfish, gobies, gobies, shrimps, which in Tuscany I called cicadas, and other varieties of the season, leaving the small fish whole and cutting the big ones into pieces.
Taste if the seasoning is good; but in any case it will not be bad to add a little oil, keeping it rather scarce in the soffritto.
Once the fish is cooked and the cacciucco has been made, it is customary to bring it to the table in two separate trays; in one the fish is dry, in the other many slices of bread, big a finger, as many as the remaining juice can dip, but first dry them over the fire without roasting them.
Enjoy your appetite!