Fish

Fish

By
Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi
Contains
8 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742705545
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

There is a local saying that goes: ‘’O’pesc nu chiagne quanno o’pigl, ma quanno o’cuoc!’, which translates as ‘The fish doesn’t cry when it is caught, only when it is cooked!’, as if even the fish have certain standards in cooking. On the whole of the Sorrentine Peninsula, it is essential to the locals that the freshness and delicate taste of the fish is preserved. Fish is generally grilled or fried. Here it’s all about the fish, not the sauce, as most of the time the fish hasn’t travelled more than 50 m from shore to plate.

The fish market

The fish market on the road to Agerola is small but very popular. The friendly staff sell to the trade and individual shoppers alike. Here cuttlefish, calamari and octopus are sold from open boxes alongside all types of local fish brought here by the fishermen.

In the market we watched tattooed fishmongers prepare anchovies. The tiny fish heads were cut off and discarded then the fish were slit open gently from the tail to the top and the spine removed. These would be marinated with lemon or vinegar, garlic and chilli, and then preserved under oil for antipasti.

Pesce alla griglia

Fish on the grill

On the whole, the Amalfitani don’t tend to serve a side with fish. Instead, they drizzle it with locally made olive oil because the flavour of the fish is what’s important. However, one idea I loved was to make up an oil infused with mint and lemon.

Take a selection of seafood and brush lightly with olive oil. Season on all sides and cook on a hot grill, skin side down. When the flesh turns opaque around the edges, gently flip over and cook the other side until firm to the touch. Prawns should be pink all over and calamari only take about a minute a side or until they become opaque.

Recipes in this Chapter

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