Seafood Brodetto

Scallops, shrimp and delicate tilapia with spinach and mushrooms simmered in a light white wine and marinara-saffron broth. served with toasted ciabatta bread.

Here is a basic recipe which can be modified.

The constant among the Brodetto recipes is the fact that the soup features a tomato base and plenty of seafood.  One of the oldest recipes for Brodetto comes from the Le Marche town of Ancona and calls for 13 different types of fish.  Not having the time or resources to get 13 different kinds of fish, I chose to make a simplified version with shrimp, tilapia, and scallops.  I didn't feel too bad about this since the original recipe was created in order to use the seafood that was fresh and available in the area.  So, keeping with that mindset, I chose what was available to me; living in Maine I could have easily added lobster tail or clams as well.  (If using clams or mussels, leaving some of them inside their shells when serving the soup.)  Traditionally, this soup is also supposed to be served over a piece of grilled or toasted bread.  I am vehemently against serving bread in my soup though, so I put the bread on the side.  To me, that's the fun of cooking: making a recipe your own!


Adapted from

-Serves 3-4-

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 eight ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1/6 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound tilapia, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound scallops
  • 1/2 pound shrimp


In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
To the pot, add the tomato sauce, vinegar, wine, water, tomato paste, and parsley. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  Let the mixture come to a boil to burn off the alcohol from the wine.  Return to a simmer, cover, and cook about 30 minutes.
Add the fish, followed by the scallops and shrimp.  Cover and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.  If you are using pre-cooked shrimp, don't add the shrimp until the last 5 minutes or so.  You want the shrimp to meld with the other flavors, but not overcook.  Serve hot.


Nana said...

i wiukd add the soinch to the broth so it can cook well, i had this soup this pass weekend and loved it altho i would tweek it adding some old bay seasoning as i make my joes crab shack steam pot always tasting it to the right taste for me ... i found the olvie garden one lacked taste . but i liked it thus i would tweet it to my taste ... bon appite !

Carma said...

how much spinach and mushrooms and when do you add them? didn't notice these mentioned in the recipe or instructions.

Fly Nana said...

Had this meal at Olive Garden with a friend & we absolutely loved it, so much I had to try it in my own kitchen! I must say this copycat recipe was right on point with the exception of the sausage not being mentioned, but this dish could def do without the sausage...I made the dish this weekend & tweeked it a Little by adding old bay seasoning, a little butter & cayenne pepper it was delicious! My hubby loved it, the kids not so much :) thanks for sharing this copycat recipe .