This is a Trabaccolo painted by Marcello in the '70s. Marcello had been a sailorman, the cook on board, and, in the retirement years, a naive painter. He was my Grandfather.

The Trabaccolo was a Fishing Boat, that is a "boat for working". Work in Spanish is Trabaco.

The recipes I am posting today is the TRABACCOLARA, a dish of spaghetti that, in the original way, does not need more than one pan, as the spaghetti are thrown , still row and hard, directly into the sauce and finished to cook adding some water (eventually some sea water instead of salt). Using a few tools and a few pans, meant a lot in the little "cambusa" (ship kitchen) of a Trabaccolo.

Today the recipe is not that strict, as, actually, we would use more than one pan, and, depending the variety of fish and seafood we would be using, maybe 3 or 4 or 5 pans. Just because we want to be professional.


It’s a technique to cook spaghetti directly into the sauce without boiling them first.

Ingredients for 4:
1 daily fresh red scorpion fish, about 1 kg ( 2.2 Lb)
garlic, parsley
16 cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
white wine
optional hot chilli pepper

400 gr ( 13 Oz) spaghetti

Clean well the fish, scaling it and taking off the organs.
Fillet and de-bone it, reserving the head and the central bone.

Keep the de-boned fillets in the refrigerator and prepare a bisque:
Put  two spoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and scald; add finely chopped onion and a crushed garlic clove. Cook on low heat until soft. Add the fish head and bone. Stir often and crush them with a wooden spoon so that the jus comes out. As they are cooked ( it would take 5-8 minutes), pour in a quarter (1 cup) of dry white wine and 1 liter ( 4 cups) of water. Bring to boil. Lower the flame and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt slightly. Filter the broth through a thin sifter and keep it simmering on very low heat.

Put to boil another pot of water, to add to the broth if needed.

Flake the fish fillets.
Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in halves.
Put four spoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet ( the diameter must be at least the length  of the spaghetti) with a finely minced garlic clove, a little minced parsley – a little optional hot chilli pepper -. Add the fish flakes and let them sizzle. Drench with 50 ml ( 1/5 cup) of white wine and let it evaporate. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook one minute. Season slightly with salt.
Add the raw spaghetti.
Cook the pasta adding ladles of hot broth and stirring. The quantity of broth and cooking time depend on the size of the chosen spaghetti.
Finish the dish sprinkling the remaining minced parsley and serve immediately.


This is Amanda catching and lifting  the spaghetti, then  rolling them around the fork...
... for a nice and clean plating.