This meal was one that my Dad made when supplies were low over the Abrolhos and the carrier boat hadn't yet arrived with the order. It's a broth type soup (to use up the stale bread) made from simple ingredients, tomato paste (when there were no tomatoes left) , potato (because you always had them) and fish (on an island in the ocean they were all around you.) He never actually taught me how to make this but I can see him in my minds eye cooking it and my mouth waters when I try to remember how he said the word "Brodetta" ... not knowing a lot about the history of this recipe I did a little research and came up with the fact that although it may have started out as an Italian simplistic thin broth dish it travelled around and crossed some water and picked up elements from other cultures to end up a thicker tomato, onion, multi fish richer soup called "Brodet"
My version sadly is not my Dad's, it is my memory of his adapted... and I need to say a work in progress as it isn't as good as his was so I am still modifying it each time I cook it. Practice makes progress right?
- I like to make my own fish stock so whenever I have a handful of prawns or fish head I use the shells and heads to make a stock. A purchased one will suffice.
- In a little oil soften some crushed garlic and the chopped stems of some coriander and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste.
- Add chunky peeled potatoes and thickly sliced cabbage (this is something Dad never would have added but I love the cabbage simmered in the juices) and the stock to cover.
- Simmer until the potatoes are cooked, the starch from the potatoes slightly thickens your broth and then slide in your fish (any white fish is nice in largish chunks, Dad would make this dish whenever he got hold of a coral trout) gently cook until the fish flakes apart with a fork.
- Lastly add a heap of chopped parsley and I like to serve it on a couple of forks of spaghetti however this is your choice and once again Dad served his with crunchy Italian loaf torn not sliced and we all know that pasta and bread are never served together... sshhh!
This dish is superstitiously never stirred. Not sure where this comes from but simmer gently no stirring ok !!! Presumably it is so that the fish doesn't fall apart but I'm not tempting fate with a spoon. ENJOY!