All Mediterranean countries have a distinctive version(s) of a traditional fish stew. These recipes reflect local preferences, different spice combinations and popular ingredients from the local boats. This recipe is for Cacciucco an Italian fish stew that is typically found in towns along the western Italian coasts of Tuscany and Liguria. It is especially associated with the port city of Livorno.

Many of the ingredients below can be swapped for alternatives either for personal preference or whats available or looking good on our counter.

Preparation time will be about 15 minutes. Allow about 25 minutes  for cooking time. Quantities below will serves 4 people.

Ingredients For Cacciucco

700g  of assorted fish fillets such as whiting, hake, red mullet from Walter Purkis & Sons
250g  of mixed seafood – Cooked prawns, Squid and Mussels from Walter Purkis & Sons
5 x 15ml spoon (5 tablespoons) olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 red chillies, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 glasses Italian red wine
6 vine tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped  (or use 400g tin of chopped tomatoes)
1 ltr fish stock from Walter Purkis & Sons
salt and black pepper
12 slices Italian ciabatta

Cooking Method For Cacciucco

Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF, Gas Mark 6.

Cut all the fish fillets into large chunks and season well.

In a large pan, heat 3 x 15ml spoon (3 tablespoons) olive oil and add the onions, carrots, celery, cooking for 2 minutes. Add the parsley, garlic, chillies, bay leaves and thyme. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the red wine and bring up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes fish and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes before adding the seafood cocktail.

Drizzle the bread with remaining olive oil and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

Lay the fish in the bottom of 4 bowls and ladle over the fish soup. Serve with the bread, to soak up all the lovely fish juices.