My friend, Paola Palazzo is a first generation Italian. She’s from Canada and her mother came down for a visit this past week. Paola invited a few friends over her house for a “pizza party.” I’m thinking she’s calling the restaurant down the block so she doesn’t have to cook. Silly me!
Paola’s a really good cook and so, as I found out, is her mother. The pizza was from SCRATCH! holy crap. I walked in and there’s her adorable mother, rolling out dough. On the dining room table was a spread that would feed New Jersey. Chips and dip, prosciutto and melon, smoked salmon…the list goes on. THEN came the pizza. Mom’s first pie had lots of cheese and sausage on it, along with some fresh veggies. I skipped that one. Besides not wanting the extra fat and calories, I don’t like sausage. The next one was a vegetarian version with only some Parmesan sprinkled on it. That was the perfect pie, if you ask me!
As you know, I’m not an advocate of eating carbs after breakfast, no less at dinner…but there are exceptions. And this was one of them. I had 3 pieces. Then I asked her to adopt me. My Mom would probably be pissed, but then again, she can’t make pizza!
That brings me to the zuppa de pesce. No, Paola didn’t have it at the party, I was just in an “Italian” mood. My boyfriend is Sicilian, so I guess I’m kind of in that mood a lot, anyway. Last night I made a great zuppa de pesce and I’d like to share the recipe with you. The great thing about this recipe is it’s not an “exact science.” There is a ton of room for creativity, as long as you have the basics like tomato puree, diced tomatoes, garlic, fish and/or shellfish. The rest is up to you. this is how I made mine.
- Olive oil
- 1 28 oz can no salt whole tomatoes, chopped a little
- 2 14 oz cans organic diced tomatoes with no salt
- 3 8 oz cans no salt tomato sauce
- 4 tblsps chopped garlic
- 2 med onions, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 8 oz sliced portobello mushrooms
- 3 zucchini, sliced (these were leftover from another dish, so I threw them in)
- 2 One pound bags of mixed shellfish from Trader Joes. (shrimp, scallops and calamari) Feel free to add chunks of regular fish, as well…swordfish or mahi-mahi are good choices.
- 4 tbsps red wine, like a cabernet
- 2 tbsps each: dried oregano, dried basil, black pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley flakes (adjust according to personal preference!)
- Salt to taste
- In an 8 quart pot, spray the oil.
- Over medium heat, cook garlic, stirring constantly, for about a minute.
- Add onion and red pepper. Saute until soft.
- Add mushrooms and zucchini and cook about 5-8 minutes, until soft.
- Add all tomato products and stir. Cook 5 minutes.
- Add wine and spices. Stir.
- Turn up heat and bring to slow boil.
- Add seafood. Cook another 5 minutes.
- Lower heat, cook 3-5 mintes.
- Serve in bowls with Parmesan cheese, optional.
I’ve also made this with peas instead of zucchini. I just happened to have it lying around. That’s why recipes like this are a fabulous staple in anyone’s cooking repertoire. Enjoy and let me know how you made yours!
Talk to you soon,
1 thought on “Zuppa de Pesce, Pizza and other Italian delights”
Sounds delicious .. Laila .. http://lailablogs.com/
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