The part of the Adriatic coast stretching from Ortona to Vasto, including the village of San Vito Chietino, called the coast of the trabocchi, because of the "canopies" - i.e. the trabocchi - built on the coast, from which the nets are dropped , and then raised with the fish of the day, boasts a seafood tradition and a secular fishing.
The relatively high seabed, the wide cliffs and the very different marine areas, provide an ideal habitat for many fish species, which are fundamental ingredients in the preparation of the typical dishes, an expression of local tradition.
In particular, today we illustrate you the “brodetto” (fish broth), a perfect combination of fish and vegetables, that combines the fruits of the earth with those of the sea, exalting the richness of the land.
This tasty recipe was born as a "dish on board": the sailors prepared the soup directly on their boats when, after selling the best fish, they were given the remaining fish, too small or too little to appeal the customers at the market. Later, once back into town, the men exchanged with the local farmers part of the fish with tomatoes and peppers.
In the restaurants of the area, they never run out of brodetto and there are many varieties along the coast. One of the best known comes from the village of Vasto, the so-called "lu vrudatte", which does not include the sautéed vegetables, and contains at least seven varieties of fish (rape, mullet, turnip, tuna, walnut, cod, sea cicadas), extra virgin olive oil, pepper and tomato.
Let's see how the fish broth is prepared together. Would you like a piece of advice? Take your time and be patient, this is the only way to prepare this delicious dish.
- 1 kg of mixed fish
- 1 fresh red pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 100 ml of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 liter of tomato paste
- chili pepper
In a crock pan, toast the garlic together with a glass of oil. Add the pepper and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato and cook for about half an hour before adding the fish: put cuttlefish and calamari first, as they require a longer cooking time, and then combine the rest of the fish.
Let the pan covered and cook for about 15 minutes, then take the lid off, in order to make the sauce shrink, and finish the cooking without mixing the soup, but only shaking it slightly, or, if you prefer to say it in jargon, "tizzicando".
As a final touch, add the parsley, previously cut with your hands, and chili.
Finally, serve the soup in the terracotta pan with fresh or toasted bread, and ... voilà, the soup is ready.
How is the best way to taste the soup? Your Hands! You cannot help getting dirty fingers to enjoy these fish, that needs to be cleansed from the bones, and don’t forget pane) to mop up your plate with bread (the typical Italian “scarpetta”) if you want to enjoy the sauce, the most delicious part of the soup.
If you want, you can accompany the broth with a good wine: a pecorino or a trebbiano of the area.