Cacciucco livornese


Typical dish of the port city of Livorno, Cacciucco is a very popular and special dish for several reasons: first of all the name, only word in Italian to contain 5 “c”. The term seems to derive from the turkish kuzuk, which means “small”, probably referring to the size of the fish that were used.

Its origins go as far as the Renaissance, a time when Livorno was still just a small settlement of fishermen, who often had to fight against hunger. For this they used the fish that they could not sell and ate them with stale bread, fortified with garlic to cover up odors. A simple dish, but delicious and able to gather together all the flavors of the sea of Italy. Today Cacciucco has evolved, it has spread throughout the Belpaese, and to the recipe has been added tomato and other herbs, imaking the dish more suited to modern tastes, while keeping intact its navy and humble essence.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

1/2  kg of octopus

½ kg of cleaned cuttlefish

4 Slices of common smooth-hound

8 Cacciucco fish (scorpion fish, weever,  stargazers, tub gurnard)

4 lobsters

1 kg of fish for soup

300 g of tomato concentrate

Extra virgin olive oil

Celery, carrot, onion, garlic, sage, red pepper

12 slices of toasted bread


In a saucepan, prepare the broth by adding water celery, carrot, onion and fish for soup previously cleaned and scaled. In a saucepan, prepare a light sauté of extra virgin olive oil, onion and chili. Add octopus and cuttlefish, the concentrate and then the broth after spending the fish with a food mill. Add the sage, the fish from Cacciucco, common smooth-hound and lobsters. Prepare a bowl with toasted bread rubbed with garlic; first add a base of octopus and cuttlefish then place over the smooth-hound and lobsters. Finally pour a little of broth and a little olive oil raw.

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