Tony’s Table: Zuppe di Pesce Amalfitano
Zuppe di Pesce Amalfitano
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
5 cloves garlic
1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
1 small leek, washed well and coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
4 fresh Roma or canned San Marzano tomatoes, halves
3 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes and their juice
1 cup white wine
1 cup Ricard (or other anise liqueur)
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 pounds fish bones, cleaned
1 pound assorted fresh fish fillets (cod, bass, flounder, salmon, grouper), cut into 2-inch pieces
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Heat the ¼ cup olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the garlic, fennel, leek, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the fresh tomatoes and continue cooking until they begin to break down, about 10 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes, wine, Ricard, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over a high flame, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes have broken down substantially, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently throughout. Add the fish bones and enough water so that the bones are covered. Stir while the pot simmers for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Let cool, then refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Before using, skim the surface of any impurities that rise to the top.
Reheat the zuppa in a stockpot over a medium flame until gently simmering. season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fish pieces and cook for about 6 minutes; the fish should be well cooked and flaky. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Add the chopped parsley just before serving, and drizzle with a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.