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Fano is a very beautiful touristic town on the Adriatic coast of Italy in the Marche
region. Last summer I was visiting with my sister Patrizia and during my stay an
event took place: The "Sagra del Brodetto". A 'sagra' is a street festival dedicated
to a single theme, generally local food, and this 'sagra' in Fano was just extraordinary
for the quality and the subject matter. In fact a "Brodetto" (literally translated
in 'little broth') is a local fish stew, prepared in a unique way and utilizing the
local super-fresh 'catch of the day' from the Fano harbour.
With the help of my sister we prepared the traditional "Brodetto di Fano" and I am
going to share the recipe here.
It is almost impossible to find the same fish we used in this recipe, unless you
are on the Adriatic coast. But you can prepare a similar dish with whatever seafood
is available in your area, the only important conditions are freshness and quality.
Will it taste the same? Of course not, but no two "brodetto's" taste the same, not
even in Fano, as every cook will prepare it differently, with whatever fish they
like or whatever they found at the market that day.
Wash and clean accurately all the fish.
In a large skillet on medium heat, place the olive oil. Add the onion. Sauté until
the onion is soft and translucent.
Add tomato puree and tomato concentrate. Add vinegar. Stir to combine and cook for
about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Add the fish at intervals, starting from those who take longer to cook. Squid first....
... then larger fishes ...
... shrimps and mantis shrimps.
Finally add the mussels and clams. Add a little bit of water if the sauce is too
think. The stew is ready when the fish is thoroughly cooked and the mussels and clams
are open. We served it hot accompanied by a bottle of Verdicchio wine.
... followed by smaller fishes, skate, mullet ...
Fish Stew of Fano
Brodetto di Fano
In total about 5 lb of fish (about 2.5 kilograms):
squid (seppie), monkfish (coda di rospo or rana pescatrice), mullet (triglie), skate
wings skinned (razza), shrimps (gamberi), mantis shrimp (canocchie or pannocchie),
mussels (cozze), clams (vongole)