During the first day of cooking classes at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine in Lucca, Italy, we were off to a strong start. The day’s Guest was Chef Umberto Creatini , who instructed us on cooking typical fish dishes from Livorno. Chef Creatini’s restaurant is Restaurant Miramare.
The menu for the day consisted of:
- Sarde Ripiene
- Zuppa del Carbonaio
- Cacciucco alla Livornese (I was on this soup team)
- Schiaccia Briaca Dell’Elba
Never have I seen so many various types of fish that look NOTHING like what we have in the US.
All so fresh, you could swear they were still alive…but not for long, as we sliced and diced to construct our dishes.
Our fish soup was extremely interesting, in that after cleaning the various types of fish, all of the bones etc. were placed in a pot of water, which I assumed would become fish stock. But NO! There were other plans for that pot of boiling bones, celery, and carrots –
Out comes the largest immersion blender on the planet, and my classmate, Olimpio, begins to grind away until the bones, etc. has become a pulp of “brownish stuff”.
Then, he takes a fine mesh sieve, and pushes the pulp through until there is nothing but “brownish stuff with no big pieces”.
Next, the “juice” goes into a bowl, and is put back into the other saucepan, where the soup is cooking.
How odd you might say? Well, I have to admit it tasted absolutely delectable!
Here’s the finished dish, before we all devoured the soup like a pack of hungry canines.
(P.S. – I am happy to share the recipe – only it’s all in Italian! Just send me your email address, and I’ll send the scanned recipe to you. )