At one time, red mullet were considered waste fish, so the poorest families would go to the markets to retrieve the day’s waste and very often they would find this fish. All this happened in Rome, in the Jewish Ghetto, but given the difficult relationship between church and Jews, the latter moved to Tuscany.
Here they brought their traditions and their recipes, including red mullet which became known as “triglie alla livornese”. Having better living conditions and more fish to cook, Cacciucco was born, starting from the basic recipe they had developed for mullet.
First, scale the fish using the back of a knife. After removing the lateral and upper fins, cut into the belly of the fish and remove the internal entrails.
After rinsing the mullet under running water, start frying the garlic and parsley in a pan with oil.
After 2 minutes, add the peeled tomatoes and cook for about ten minutes.
Add the whole mullets and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on, never turning them.
Once cooked, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
There are various types of mullet on the market, those of rockfish are more valuable and tastier, but more difficult to find. This dish can also be prepared in advance and served the day after.