Mouthwatering fish and seafood dishes can be found all along the Tuscan coast. From a simple plate of pasta with clams, to the rich and elaborate cacciucco, Tuscan fish dishes are so many and varied you’ll need to pack an extra stomach.
In the interior, Tuscany is most famous for meat based recipes, but if you’re heading to the coast you’ll have the chance to savour some of the tastiest fish dishes you’ll find anywhere in Italy. As with everything, which dishes you’ll find depends very much on where you are.
Livorno is the place to go for Tuscan fish dishes. Here you can sample some of the most famous fish and seafood recipes in Tuscany.
Tuscan fish dishes you have to try
CACCIUCCO alla Livornese is the king of all Tuscan fish dishes. The Livornesi are particularly proud of this dish as it originates here. The name comes from Turkish (kucuk in Turkish means “small thing”, It’s a thick soup involving 5 different types of fish: squid, cuttlefish, prawns, shellfish cooked in tomato and a bit of wine. Served on a base of toasted Tuscan bread rubbed with garlic.
You’ll find this dish in coastal towns, though the best is to be found in Livorno and surrounding coastal areas. Trattoria da Galileo, in Livorno, is considered a must by connoisseurs.
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BACCALÀ ALLA LIVORNESE Baccalà (salted coldfish) stir-fried and cooked in tomato sauce, garlic and parsley.
SPAGHETTI WITH SEAFOOD – Usually made with clams, small types of shellfish, or allo scoglio with mixed sea food (including shellfish, prawns and cuttlefish). Spaghetti allo scoglio is a classic fish dish, perfect on a hot summer day with a cold glass of white Vermentino wine.
SEPPIE CON PISELLI – Cuttlefish with peas is a delicious mix of tender fish, peas, garlic, onion and a touch of tomato sauce. Light and marvellous.
SEPPIE CON BIETOLA – Cuttlefish and chard. If you love fish and can’t do without your greens, this is the dish for you. Light and delicious.
RISOTTO DI MARE – Seafood Rice. Although it’s not only a Tuscan dish you’ll still find it on lots of menus. A dish packed with mussels, squid and prawns.
FRIED FISH – Fritto di mare o Fritto misto is a scrumptious way to eat fish. You’ve never had fried fish like this.
FISH DICTIONARY – When ordering fish, use this handy guide to help you navigate your way through the many different types of fish and seafood on a menu.
triglie – mullet
orate – sea bream
branzino – seabass
scorfano – scorpionfish
polpo – octopus
vongole – clams
cozze – mussels
acciughe – anchovies
seppie – cuttlefish
gamberi – prawn
scampi – langoustines
aragoste – spiny lobster
sogliole – sole
palamita – bonito
coda di rospo – monkfish
cicale – mantis shrimp
gallinella – tub gurnard
dentice – red snapper
coda di rospo – monkfish