The sea off the Marche coast is especially rich with crustaceans and all types of squid, shrimps and cuttlefish. Brodetto is the most typical dish and, as the name suggests, is a type of soup made from the left overs and unwanted scraps that couldn't be sold in the market.
Traditionally, it was the daily meal for many workers in the ports and was considered a complete meal. There are four types of brodetto corresponding to the different fishing localities in the region - 'Ancona', 'Porto Recanati', 'Fano' and 'San Benedetto del Tronto'.
Essentially, the main fish caught in each town is the prime ingredient in the local brodetto. We have been informed of a new fifth version called 'brodetto delle Marche' which has aspects of each of the other four. If you are wondering where the best brodetto originates from, then Porto Recanati claims to be 'king of brodetto', but locals will differ.
Lots of local fish and fresh seafood
Pour an abundant amount of olive oil into a large frying pan.
As the oil reaches cooking temperature add a finely chopped onion, cuttlefish in pieces and allow them both to cook on a low heat.
Add salt, pepper, a few strands of saffron and a touch of water together with a vegetable stock cube. Continue to cook slowly.
In a second larger pan arrange various floured fresh fish in layers, leaving the softest or most tender to last.
Pour the contents of the first pan over the fish and add in equal parts both hot water and dry white wine. Adjust the salt and pepper and bring to a lively heat, cooking for 15-18 minutes
It is important not touch the fish with a spoon, but always use cooking pincers to occasionally agitate the mixture.
Arrange toasted bread pieces on your serving bowls and then cover with the soup. Brodetto is best with a dry white wine or a young red.