October 8, 2011 | Italy, Spongano, The Awaiting Table, Travel
People often ask me what dish I like best at the coking school in Puglia. Each and every pasta is fantastic. The vegetables are really good. But once again this year, the brodetto di pesce (zuppa di pesce) was my hands down favorite (assuming you don’t count the burrata which is a cheese, not really a recipe). Here’s what’s in it.Garlic – left in whole cloves – and basil – chiffonadeSquid – cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
Fish – white fish, not too oily or strongly flavored to take over the flavor of the soupParsley – finely chopped
Tomatoes – diced small
Mussels and clams – scraped clean of barnacles and debeardedSmall shrimp – left whole and with the heads still on for flavorLarger prawns – again, heads on and wholeThe brodetto starts with white wine and olive oil, and the seafood releases its liquid to make a fabulously flavored broth. You’ll need semi-stale bread to soak it all up.It also helps if you have someone like Anna to set the pretty table for you – complete with napkins shaped like fish as a symbol for the meal to come.If there were ever a dish that calls for a nice crisp rose wine, this one’s it. And if it’s 75 degrees and you’re on vacation in Puglia, you just might be lucky enough to linger at the table all afternoon sipping that wine with friends. The very best dish, and the very best kind of day.