If you're looking for a cozy and comforting seafood stew that packs a flavor-filled punch, then cacciucco is the perfect dish for you. This traditional Tuscan dish consists of a savory tomato broth with fish and shellfish stewed in it, along with onion, garlic and assorted herbs and spices.


The essence of this scrumptious stew lies in its complexity. The tomatoes provide a bright and savory base, while garlic and a blend of herbs and spices add depth of flavor. Meanwhile, onions give the stew an added depth of flavor as well as texture. The fish and shellfish provide a mild and salty contrast to the hearty broth, adding a contrast of flavor and texture.

Cacciucco is traditionally made with at least five different kinds of fish and shellfish, including eel, mullet, monkfish, squid, and mussels. Each ingredient provides its own unique flavor and adds to the complexity of the overall stew.

Unlike typical stews, cacciucco is cooked slowly and at low temperatures. This allows each ingredient to retain its unique flavor and texture. As the stew simmers, the flavors of the ingredients mingle to create a complex, yet harmonious flavor profile.

This flavorful stew is often served with a garnish of extra herbs, pepper flakes, and even bits of crusty bread. It can also be paired with a light white wine or a delicate rosé to complement the seafood flavors.

Because of its complexity, cacciucco has long been held in high regard by food aficionados. Much like a fine wine, the stew rewards diners with its nuanced and layered flavors, leaving them with a lasting impression. So if you're looking for a flavorful and satisfying seafood stew, look no further than cacciucco.

Cacciucco recipes

Amazing Cacciucco recipes sourced from the web.

The origin of Cacciucco

Cacciucco, hailing from the beautiful coastal region of Tuscany, is truly a delectable amalgam of seafood, tomato sauce and aromatic herbs. Historically, this dish was initially created by humble fishermen as a means of utilizing their bounty while they were out on the Mediterranean Sea – a combination of whatever fish and shellfish they had caught that day, along with some of the plentiful tomatoes, garlic and herbs growing in the area. It is said that the name itself comes from "cacciare," an ancient Italian word meaning “to hunt” - an appropriate term for how fishermen of the day caught their catch.

Today, Cacciucco is still prepared in much the same way as it was centuries ago; however, chefs have been using it to unleash their culinary creativity in recent years. To make the faithful version, a robust tomato-based broth, called a cacciuccata, is made and then combined with an array of ingredients that vary depending on what is available. Types of seafood can include sea bass, monkfish, spiny lobster, clams and mussels (using the shells to add additional flavor). And a simple addition of seasonal vegetables, such as fennel, celery, carrots, onion and potatoes, adds even more flavor to the dish.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Cacciucco is the variety of herbs and aromatics used to finish off the dish. Oregano, rosemary, bay leaves and sometimes even saffron can all be used in the broth to create an intense yet delectable flavor. But the ultimate secret ingredient, used to give the final product that unique Tuscan flair, is a generous sprinkle of chili pepper flakes - the perfect complement to the rich combination of ingredients.

No matter how you choose to prepare it, Cacciucco remains one of the most beloved dishes of the Italian coast. With its unrivaled depth of flavors, it’s no wonder why it continues to be served in homes and restaurants across the country. So the next time you're craving a comforting bowl of seafood goodness, look no further than Cacciucco - a true testament to the ingenuity and creativity of Italian cuisine.

Types of Cacciucco

Ah, the cacciucco. A classic Italian stew – or fish and shellfish soup, as some would call it – that is renowned for its flavorful balance of fresh seafood and hearty vegetables. The dish has been around since at least the early 1500s, though the exact origin is still a topic of debate. No matter where it may have come from, the truth is that cacciucco is a beloved staple of Italian cuisine, enjoyed in both its home country and around the world.

One of the best things about cacciucco is that it has endless variations, depending upon the region and the cook. In Livorno, for example, one might enjoy a cacciucco topped with dainty croutons, while the version from Viareggio uses almost exclusively locally-caught baccala. For Tyrrhenian coast fans, the cacciucco alla Viareggina is a must-try, where the fish is cooked separately and served in an aromatic broth.

In the south of Italy, the cacciucco has also taken on a Sicilian twist. Here, it’s known simply as “cuocere” – which means “to cook” – and features an impressive array of local catch, including sea bream, clams, cuttlefish, shrimp, and mussels. It’s usually served with a side of lemon wedges and bruschetta, making for a refreshing counterpoint to the dish’s smoky depth.

Finally, for a truly unique experience, there’s the cacciucco alla ladra, originating from the port city of Ancona. This version of the dish is made with lobster, octopus, squid, and mussels, flavored with the unique combination of onions, garlic, bay leaves, and tomato sauce.

No matter which version you choose, cacciucco is sure to be a hit, with its delectably complex flavor profile and comforting presence sure to please even the pickiest of diners. So why not give this classic Italian stew a try today? You won’t be disappointed.