Why you need to give Cacciucco alla Livornese the benefit of the doubt
Cacciucco is a dish particular to Livorno in Italy.
It’s not an attractive dish, but that’s kind of the point.
500 years ago local fishermen would take whatever was left in the bottom of their boats after selling more valuable fish at the market and make it into a stew.
Today restaurants in Livorno follow the same principle, creating cacciucco from whatever is left at the fish market at the end of the day.
The stew is flavoured with tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, lots of garlic, fresh sage, and dried red chilli peppers.
It is served over toast, rubbed in garlic, like pane campagnolo, a Tuscan favourite.
It looks a little rough and ready when it’s plated, but believe me, it’s delicious.
My favourite place to eat cacciucco is Cantina Senese.
It’s the first place I tried it and I like the equally ‘rustic’ vibe.
Particularly the way they plonk down a flagon of wine on your table and only charge you for the number of glasses you drink.