Yummy Italian Seafood Appetizer
Marty Martindale


I grew up in Rhode Island, and this is a state where the Italian food is excellent, and there are plenty of Italians there to do it right. So, it made sense I wanted to find myself in Italy someday eating some of the “original stuff,” definitely not meatballs or ravioli.

Rome’s nearest port town of Civitavecchia was my first, on-the-ground, Italian restaurant town, the first place I could order authentic Antipasto di Pesce, my Italy-raised friend recommended.  I love seafood, not overcooked, never fried, but fresh tasting, slightly savory, springy to the quick chew, chilled and tangy. I chose a covered, uncrowded sidewalk café not far from the beach.

Once seated, my waiter quickly brought fresh, warm, crusty, coarse-textured Italian bread. Perfect!

My glass of Barbera arrived soon afterward, tart, quenching and well-aged.

My waiter smiled when I ordered my Antipasto di Pesce. We both knew it would be excellent!

If my seafood would be as satisfying as my wine and fresh bread, I was in for a treat. Many minutes passed. I could wait.

My Antipasto arrived. It was beautiful — everything I hoped for. As I poked around, I came across shrimp, scampi, mussels, small clams, razor clams, calamari and lobster! It was a jackpot of my seafood favorites. I made it last a long time, occasionally dipping my bread into the delicious juices which collected on my plate.

It. The wine. The bread! I was in a mood for nothing more. As is so often true, all the other times I ordered Antipasto di Pesce, it was never quite as good as my first that day in Civitavecchia.

As time went by after my trip, I kept looking for recipes to approximate my happy, tasty experience. After some time I arrived at the conclusion Mario Batali’s “Seafood Appetizer In The Style Of Venezia:  Misto di Mare alla Veneziana” came closest. One of the reasons, I believe, is the time it takes for each seafood to be quickly poached an exact perfect length of time, plunged into a stop-cooking ice bath, separately and lightly dressed and then chilled individually.

When it comes time to serve all these perfectly-prepared shellfish, they are delicately combined on a plate bringing together their own marination of the olive oil, lemon juice, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Once sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley, this labor-intensive dish is WELL WORTH ALL THE EFFORT!

Here’s is Mario Batali’s exact recipe for his “Seafood Appetizer in The Style of Venezia:  Misto di Mare alla Veneziana” with individual cooking times and helpful notes

Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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