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Slow Fish - Good, Clean and Fair Fish


Palamita with peas

San Vincenzo (Livorno), Ristorante Il Gusto Etrusco


1. The fish


- Common name: Palamita (Atlantic bonito)

- Scientific name: Sarda sarda, Scomber sarda

- characteristics: Atlantic bonito belongs to the tuna and mackerel family, which it resembles in appearance. It has a long body (sometimes up to 80 cm) which tapers at both ends, a wide mouth with sharp teeth, small round eyes, and can be easily identified by its electric blue color with oblique black stripes. It is present in all tropical and temperate coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean and Black seas, but apparently absent from most of the Caribbean Sea. It should not be bought under the size of 40 cm.

The Slow Food Tuscan Sea Palamita Presidium operates in the waters of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, which extends from the island of Giglio to Capraia (provinces of Grosseto and Livorno). The project aims to encourage the revival of traditional practices: fishermen who use artisan methods, processors who produce the traditional preserve abandoned in the 1960s and restaurants interested in offering palamita in oil.


2. The recipe



Ingredients for 4 people

Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes, plus time soaking the palamita


A Slow Food Presidium palamita (bonito) weighing about 1½ kg
1 kg small peas in the pod
½ kg ripe sauce tomatoes
2 fresh spring onions
2 fresh garlic cloves
a sprig of parsley
a hot chili
extravirgin olive oil



Fillet the palamita to get at least six pieces. Fill a salad bowl with water and cool it with 10 ice cubes. Immerse the pieces of bonito in it and leave for about 45 minutes until the fish turns white.

Brown the finely sliced spring onions on a moderate flame in a saucepan with half a glass of extravirgin olive oil. Add the dried bonito and cook for about eight minutes, turning just once. Add the diced tomatoes, followed shortly after by pieces of chili and the chopped parsley and garlic. Add salt to taste and after about 10 minutes, add the shelled peas.

Leave to cook slowly, adding a little hot water if necessary. The dish is ready as soon as the peas are cooked but swollen and the sauce has a creamy consistency.


Picarel and pesto

Antignano - Livorno, Osteria in Caciaia


1. The fish


- Common name: Picarel (Zerro)
- Scientific name:
Spicara smaris
Origin and characteristics: a member of the Centracanthidae family, the picarel is a relatively common fish in the waters of the eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea. Picarel are 15-20 cm in length, almost cylindrical, with an elongated, flattened body and fine pointed snout. Their scales are reddish-brown on the back and silver on the belly. The protrusible mouth has small, not very sharp teeth on both jaws; the eyes are round and very large. It has just one dorsal fin, the anterior part with spiny rays and soft rays behind; the tailfin is moderately forked. It is a gregarious fish, with large shoals inhabiting the Posidonia beds at depths from 15 to 100 meters, and mainly feeds on benthic organisms. Although not a popular target species, it is caught with skimming nets and lines.


2. The recipe



Ingredients for 4 people

Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes, plus marinating time


800 grams small picarel

8 garlic cloves
3 chilis
a sprig of rosemary
wheat flour
¼ liter of vinegar
olive oil


Gut and clean the picarel. Wash them, dry well and cover in flour. Fry, drain, remove excess oil and place in a container.

Cut the garlic into thin slices and break up the chilis. Fry on a low flame and when the garlic turns brown, add the vinegar and rosemary, bringing to the boil.

Pour the sauce onto the picarel and leave in a cool place for at least two hours.


Slow Fish | Partners Lighthouse Foundation.Fondation Slow Food pour la Biodiversité

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