The fish soup, better known as “brodetto” is one of the best and most popular sea recipe from Marche region. In the past it was a unique dish and still today it keeps this tradition. The fish soup still remains a main course.
The original recipe includes from ten to thirteen different kind of fish such as cuttlefish, dogfish, cod, sole, John Dory or San Pietro fish, cobs, red mullet, mussels (in dialect called “moscioli”), shrimps, monkfish and mantis shrimps.
The tradition requires the number thirteen for two possible reasons. One reason is to remember the famous Last Supper. Another one is to remember the Calamo Fountain, a renaissance fountain, best known as the fountain of the thirteen spout “cannelle”. The fountain is located in the historic center of Ancona city.
Ten or thirteen doesn’t really matter. What matters most is the origin of the fish. It must come absolutely from the Adriatic Sea. For that reason, if the method to do the dish remain always the same, the recipe can be different depending on what the fish market offer.
The fish soup born on board. Fisherman of the Adriatic coast invented the recipe with the daily catch adding some homemade tomato sauce on it.
The “brodetto” is famous not only in Ancona city but also in other country of the Marche region. There is the fish soup from San Benedetto del Tronto, that has pepper on it and no tomato sauce or the fish soup from Porto Recanati that includes the addiction of a special saffron from Conero mountain.
The popularity of the recipe in so many places of the region makes also an important culinary event. In Porto Recanati, during the first week of June, there is the brodetto week, a special week dedicated to the soup.
Clean carefully all the fish then put it in a big dish and salt it.
Prepare a cup of oil and put inside: some slice of onion, two cloves of garlic finely chopped with a bunch of parsley.
Take a large pan, put the oil with garlic and onion you have already prepared and add some tomato sauce. Let fry for a minute then start to add the fish in this order: cuttlefish and squid first, mantis shrimps and shrimps and then add the rest.
Turn up the heat and cook adding a half cup of white vinegar for 15 minutes. Serve it with a slice of toasted bread.
Instead of using the tomato sauce, you can boil some fresh red tomatoes in salt water. When they are ready put them in the pan, remembering to peel them and remove the seeds.
Try the Porto Recanati version of the "brodetto" with saffron and no tomato sauce.
One of the best wine pairings is the white wine Verdicchio from Jesi.