This is a mix of classic Venetian food, such as baccalà (salt cod) and polenta, and dishes inspired by the produce and favours that permeate Venetian cuisine
Crostini with lardo, rosemary and honey; a vegetable stall; Venetian-style fsh soup; a bakery on McAlpine and Tish’s tour of the city Clockwise from top left to the house over the bridges (the only way to do it in a city with no cars). We would cook, then eat together in my dining room, with its old, slightly lopsided beamed ceiling and marks on the foor from where the acqua alta foods when the tide is high. All of that, to me, is Venetian food, and I wanted Ben to taste it.
It rained and it poured on the day Ben arrived, though the weather did little to deter us. Sheltered in the warmth of Rosa Salva cafe, sipping rich hot chocolate, we discussed the menu for our feast: we wanted a mix of classic Venetian food, such as baccalà (salt cod) and polenta, and dishes inspired by the produce and favours that permeate Venetian cuisine.
At the Rialto, we bought bags of seafood – scampi, clams, mussels, scorfano (a repugnantlooking but exquisite-tasting fsh) – the makings of a fsh soup. We stopped at Casa del Parmigiano, the cheese and charcuterie shop
spices and tomato paste and cook for fve minutes, until the vegetables have browned and started to soften.
Pour in the brandy and carefully fambé, then add the wine. Reduce for a few minutes before adding the shrimp back in with the stock and tomatoes. Cook for 20 minutes before blending half the shrimp with all the stock contents in a sturdy blender and then passing it through a sieve. Use the remaining shrimp in another dish.
Pour the soup into a clean pan, bring it to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming off any scum from the surface.
Meanwhile, for the alioli, place the egg yolk in a mixing bowl with the mustard and garlic. Begin whisking and very slowly add the oils to emulsify with the yolk. As the oils incorporate, you can speed up the process. When all the oil has been added, season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice and vinegar to taste. Finally, whisk in the saffron and its water.
Season the soup and add the clams, mussels and prawns, followed by the white fsh. Cook for two minutes, then squeeze in lemon juice and scatter over parsley.
Serve with toasted sourdough spread thickly with alioli.