Ada's fish soup with saffron

Ada's fish soup with saffron

Zuppa di pesce di ada con zafferano

By
From
Venice
Serves
6
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Ada Catto was head chef at the restaurant known locally as Alla Vedova, ‘The Widow’s Place’, for 30 years. Married to a Venetian gondolier, there is nothing she doesn’t know about Venetian food. Ada’s advice for fish soup is to choose what is fresh in the market and fished sustainably. She uses a mixture of monkfish, gurnard, shrimp, baby octopus, prawns, clams and mussels. Discard any broken shells and shellfish that remain open before cooking.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, left whole and lightly crushed
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato puree
freshly ground black pepper
12 medium prawns, shells on
24 clams or mussels
50ml white wine
1 litre Fish stock
or 1 litre Seafood stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
1kg firm white fish, cleaned and chopped into bite-size pieces
salt, to taste
crusty white bread, thickly sliced and toasted, to serve
or sourdough bread, thickly sliced and toasted, to serve

Method

  1. In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the oil over a low heat and fry the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and chilli (add more or less to suit your taste) for around 15 minutes until softened. Add the tomato purée, a good pinch of pepper, the shellfish and wine and fry for 2–3 minutes, lid on, until the clams have opened. Discard any clams that remain closed. Pour in the stock and saffron, increase the heat and bring to the boil. Add the fish and cook for 4–5 minutes, gently shaking the pan every now and again, until the fish is cooked through. Season with salt if necessary. Serve in bowls with bread.
Tags:
Venice
Giancarlo
Katie
Caldesi
Venetian
Italian
European
Mediterranean
Italy
Europe
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