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7 Popular Italian Fish Dishes

Italian cuisine is about much more than pasta and pizza dishes. Fish is an important element of the Italian diet. This is especially the case in the coastal towns and villages where the fish is cooked fresh straight after the catch and served in dishes using local, seasonal ingredients. If you are visiting Italy, the following are some of the best fish dishes to try

​Italian cuisine is about much more than pasta and pizza dishes. Fish is an important element of the Italian diet. This is especially the case in the coastal towns and villages where the fish is cooked fresh straight after the catch and served in dishes using local, seasonal ingredients. If you are visiting Italy, the following are some of the best fish dishes to try

1. ​Brodetta

This is a rich and hearty fish stew that originates from Riviera Romagnola. Traditionally, it is served with fried or toasted pieces of peasant’s bread. Each person makes this dish differently as it is possible to use almost any type of fish or seafood. Typical choices include cod, shrimp, cuttlefish and crayfish.

2. ​Pagello al Sale

This simple yet tasty dish is enjoyed even by those who claim not to like fish. As the fish is baked in salt, it has a less oily consistently and tastes less of fish than other fish dishes. Although it is possible to bake any fish in salt, an Italian favorite is Pandora. 

3. ​Baccala

This is one of the simplest fish dishes of all to make, so even culinary novices could try this dish at home. It is a simple, salted piece of cod. When cooked correctly, it has a firm and chewy texture. 

4. ​Bisato Fritto

Bisato fritto is battered and breaded eel. Surprisingly, this is a traditional dish served at Christmas Eve by those living in the Dalmatian region of Italy.

5. ​Orata al Cartoccio

This dish involves baking sea bass in tinfoil or paper along with other ingredients for flavor and then not opening the package until it is served at the table. It is possible to make this dish in individual portions using fillets or steaks of the sea bass or as a sharing dish for a celebratory event using whole sea bass. You can interchange the fish you use if you prefer another variety. 

6. ​Bottarga

Bottarga is a cured and salted fish. It is not usually served alone. Instead, it is grated and added to other meals as a flavorsome ingredient, such as to seafood pasta dishes. 

7. ​Buridda

​This is another hearty and traditional stew loved by all hardcore Italians. It is usually made with shellfish, but you can use any fish.  Many different vegetables are added and this depends both on seasonal availability and the preferences of the chef.

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