Saturday, July 20 2024

Cacciucco alla Livornese is a beloved Tuscan dish, originating from the coastal town of Livorno.

With its roots deeply entwined with the sea, this hearty fish stew captures the essence of the Mediterranean in every spoonful.

Packed with the vibrant flavors of various seafood, fragrant herbs, and a rich tomato-based broth, Cacciucco is the embodiment of Italian coastal cuisine.

This recipe will guide you through the process of creating this authentic dish right in your  kitchen, offering a taste of the Italian seaside with every savory bite.







  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed seafood (consider using a variety of firm-fleshed fish, shrimp, squid, and mussels)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 slices toasted crusty bread
  • 4 cups fish or seafood broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)




1. Preparing the Seafood:

  1. Begin by thoroughly cleaning and preparing the seafood. Scrub the mussels, remove their beards, clean and peel the shrimp, and slice the squid into rings. Cut any firm-fleshed fish into bite-sized pieces.

2. Sauté the Onion and Garlic:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it turns translucent, then add the minced garlic. Sauté for another minute, or until fragrant.

3. Build the Tomato Base:

  1. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, white wine, and the fish or seafood broth.
  2. Add the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

4. Cook the Seafood:

  1. Start adding the seafood to the pot, beginning with the firm-fleshed fish, followed by the squid, mussels, and shrimp.
  2. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the seafood is fully cooked. The mussels should open, and the shrimp should turn pink.
  3. Discard any mussels that do not open during cooking.

5. Toast the Bread:

  1. While the seafood is cooking, toast the slices of crusty bread until they are golden and crispy.

6. Serve:

  1. To serve, place a slice of toasted bread in each of the four bowls.
  2. Ladle the rich Cacciucco alla Livornese over the bread, ensuring a generous amount of seafood in each serving.
  3. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges for an extra zesty kick.

Now you’re ready to enjoy your Cacciucco alla Livornese, perfect for a gathering of four seafood enthusiasts. This delectable Tuscan creation beautifully captures the flavors of the sea and the heart of Italian coastal cuisine. Buon appetito!

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