Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes
October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized
Cioppino with Prawns, Mussels, Clams & Snapper
Serves Six Wiseguys.
I recently developed a menu for a one off Italian American night in Sydney and as with most things I do with food I needed a theme. It did not take me long to come up with one… Mafia films.
I had a blast coming up with the names but the one I liked the most was named after one of the most famous lines from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece The Godfather… Luca Brasi Sleeps with the Fishes.
Luca Brasi was the ultimate muscle and right hand man to Don Vito Corleone. Like Darth Vader to the Emperor or Lancelot to King Arthur this guy was so badass that people did what his boss said, simply not to piss him off… and he was tall.
Tall and imposing.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against short people.
Joe Pesci was absolutely terrifying in Goodfellas and again as the same character a few years later in Casino. But I did have a little trouble getting intimidated in The Sopranos watching Artie Bucco get his arm shoved in boiling red sauce by the guy that played Doogie Howser’s sidekick.
But was Luca Brasi the ultimate henchman? I struggle to believe that. In the film we see him put on a bulletproof vest, attempt to infiltrate a rival gang and get strangled… all in the first 20 minutes. Later his vest mailed to his boss with a fish in it as a message that Luca Brasi sleeps with the Fishes.
If you ask me he should have worn a neck brace to the meeting.
But hey… enough of film history for the insane… hope you dig this dish.
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 clove garlic, chopped rough
1/2 med onion, chopped rough
2 carrot chopped rough
1/2 green pepper chopped rough
1 Stalk celery, some leaves chopped rough ?
1 Tbsp of chopped fresh basil
1 Tsp of chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbsp of chopped fresh continental parsley (reserve one for garnish)
A grind black pepper
1 Tsp ground Chipotle Chili Powder (or normal chili powder if you like)
2 Tbsp white wine
1 Tsp of Tabasco
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Worstershire Sauce.
3 cans of Tomato
1 liter of Fish stock (Home made or store bought. If store bought ensure to get salt reduced)
. 12 x 20g pieces of Snapper (Cob would be a good alternative)
. 12 Prawns (Peeled and deveined. Cleaned heads and Shells reserved)
. 12 mussels scrubbed and bearded
. 12 clams scrubbed
1. Okay let’s begin… Chop up garlic, onion, carrots, green pepper and celery.
2. Heat a heavy pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Put in the vegetables and sauté till soft.
3. Once soft add oregano, parsley, grind black pepper, ground Chipotle Chili Powder, white wine, Tabasco, red wine vinegar & Worstershire sauce. Finally add 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes.
4. Cover & Simmer for 45 min stirring every ten min or so.
5. Once the base is reduced and nice and thick, should be very little liquid cool in the fridge or ice bath and blend until pureed.
6. Pour the liquid into a drum sieve (if you have one) or normal sieve will do and press through with a plastic pastry scraper.
7. Reserve the Tomato Base.
8. If you have made your own fish stock add the prawn heads and shells about 20 min before finished. If you have bought fish stock heat till almost boiling, reduce to simmer, add prawn shells and heads and infuse for 20 min. Strain and mix together with the Tomato Base.
9. Now to finish this off…. In a hot pan or pot add to soup mix, bring to boil, reduce heat a little and then add the mussels and clams and fish. These should take about 6 minutes to cook. After four minutes add the prawns.
10. Once the mussels and clams have opened remove from heat and discard any that have not opened. Have a taste of the soup and season.
11. Divide up the seafood into the bowls so everyone gets two pieces of everything and ladle the soup over.
12. Garnish with some chopped continental parsley and a drizzle of Olive Oil and before you know it you and your friends can sleep with the fishes as well…. Enjoy!