December 10, 2011 1 Comment
The ‘Brodetto all’anconetana’ is a typical fish soup from Ancona, in the Marche region. According to local tradition there should be 13 different varieties of fish in it. This number is sometimes attributed to the number of people at the Last Supper, although the majority relate it to the quantity of spouts of a popular fountain in the centre of Ancona, “Le 13 Cannelle”, one of the symbols of the city.
The original recipe is said to be jealously guarded by the master chefs of Ancona, who wouldn’t reveal it even under torture. We will try to give just a hint here, so that you know what to expect. As explained 13 fish varieties should be used, such as cuttlefish, squid, shrimps, scampi, mussels, clams, mantis shrimp, scorpion fish, red mullet, turbot and others, depending on what’s available and fresh at the market (but not less than 13 varieties!). The fish is cooked with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic, onions and tomato purée for about 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Depending on individual taste, it can be made more spicy by using some chilly or black pepper.
Whatever the secret recipe is and however good a cook you are, you will have to come to Ancona to experience the authentic taste, as the 13 varieties should all come from the local Adriatic sea which has fish that is regarded as among the most tasty, because of the high concentration of nutrients in a relatively small and shallow sea. This high quality seafood includes the local mussels (called ‘moscioli’ by the residents), which grow naturally on the rocks surrounding the Monte Conero, south of Ancona and are protected by the ‘DOP’ label (Denomination of Protected Origin).
Unlike other popular Italian and international soups, ‘Brodetto all’anconetana’ should be made relatively thick and is often served on toast. It goes perfectly with a full-bodied, rich white wine, like “Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi”, a popular, award-winning wine, which is also from the Marche region.