Underwater archaeology, public outreach, photogrammatry, and fish soup

Max Ditta (center), the Holy Diver of Archaeology.

Massimiliano Ditta may not be the Holy Diver, but we think he is pretty close and pretty awesome. Max works at the Stavanger Maritime Museum as one of their talented and hardworking underwater archaeologists. We are lucky to chat with him and hear about his passion for everything under the sea!  Max provides us with a detailed account of his work and the work that takes place below sea-level out of sight from us terrestrial dwellers.  It’s a fascinating talk, and he gives us a real clear picture of the challenges of their world and work.

As a Sicilian, Max is no stranger to good food and cooking. We talk a little bit about his food culture in Sicily and the influences on Sicilian food. Max adds a new dynamic to our knowledge or lack of knowledge about Sicilian culture.  Finally, he shares with us a straightforward but delicious fish soup recipe. This dish is perfectly timed for those of us heading into the darkness of winter!

Max’s Fish Soup recipe:

Ingredients

  • 150 gr butter
  • 60 gr plain flour
  • 500 ml vegetable stock and 100-200 ml of fish stock
  • 1-medium carrot, finely chopped in cubes
  • 1 big yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped in cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 200 gr of Crab meat or Shrimps
  • 200 gr of Scallops or any other mussel (if using scallops, chopped in cubes)
  • 400 gr of Cod or any other white fish, chopped in cubes (2 cm)
  • 500 ml heavy cream
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • chopped fresh Basil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

In a pot, melt 100 gr of butter, add the flour, and stir for about 2 minutes without browning the flour.

Add the cream, the fish stock, and the vegetable stock at intervals, stirring all the time until the sauce is thickened but creamy. Add more or less stock to correct the thickness (but use all the cream ). Let it boil gently for 5-10 minutes.

In a sauce pan, melt the rest of the butter and sauté the carrots, the onions, the garlic, and the celery, for approx. 10 minutes. Add the fish and the scallops, and simmer until the fish start to fall apart. Close the heat and add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, add salt and pepper too.

Poor everything in the pot with the white sauce, add also the crab meat or shrimps. Simmer for another 5 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the parsley and basil to taste

Serve with a good loaf of bread, and a glass of white wine from Veneto

 


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