Sa Cassola, a typical dish of Cagliari, is a rich and tasty fish soup that brings to the table the scent of the pristine sea of Sardinia.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Difficulty: easy
Ingredients (serving 4 people)
- 5 – 6 pounds assorted fish (dogfish, eel, grey mullet, skate, sea bass, gurnard, sea scorpion, sea bream, baby squid, cuttlefish, octopus, crab, and lobster)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tuft of parsley, finely chopped
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped or small tin Italian plum tomatoes.
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- chili to your taste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Clean the fish, wash them in plenty of salted water and pat dry. Cut off their heads. Cut the larger fish into pieces, and the lobster tail into small pieces; split the body of the lobster in half.
The fish stock: put the fish heads in a pan with a little salt and water to cover; bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain and set aside.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a very large pan and fry the garlic and parsley. When the garlic begin to change color add the tomatoes and stir well; then pour in the wine and cook until reduced.
Stir in a good 1/2 cup of the hot fish stock, the baby squid and the cuttlefish (roughly chopped) and the octopus (cut into strips).
Season to taste with salt and chili. Let these cook for 20 minutes, then add the rest of the firmer fish, followed by the lobster 5 minutes later.
Simmer very gently for 15 minutes, then gradually add the remaining fish.
Add another cupful of the fish stock, cover the pan and simmer very gently for a further 15 minutes, or until all the fish are tender. check seasoning.
Put a slice of crisply fried bread in the bottom of each soup bowl (traditionally, ships’ biscuits were used). Pour over the fish and stock, and serve at once.
Enjoy Sa Cassola.
Wine recommendations: Vermentino Costamolino white wine. Serve at 53°F.