Eating fresh seafood is a part of life in Italy.
Italy has hundreds of fishing ports and numerous fishing villages. With its vast coastline and an economy dependent on fishing, Italy has the second largest number of people working in the industry, after Spain. Although European Union policies have required sustainable fishing practices, and certain types of fishing are either restricted or outlawed entirely, it is possible to enjoy many varieties of fresh seafood there.
Let's look at some of the delicious dishes that Italy's seafood is celebrated for.
Shrimp fra Diavolo
Spice up your life with this spicy shrimp dish. The secret to this dish lies in the use of the red pepper flakes that add the spice. Italians love to add a little spice to their food but are careful not to overpower the flavor with it. This little blend of pepper with the fish creates just the right amount of heat. Also featuring spaghetti strings, it’s the perfect shrimp pasta meal if you want to combine Italian pasta with Italian seafood.
Insalata di Mare
Seafood salad is a favorite summertime delight. It's usually made with boiled fresh octopus, clams, and mussels, and sometimes shrimp, crab, or baby calamari. The dressing contains two essential ingredients of Italian cuisine—lemon and extra virgin olive oil. With fresh fish and high quality ingredients, this will be a dish you'll remember.
Insalata di polpo (octopus salad) has boiled fresh octopus and celery. If you are a fan of octopus, try it served cold, or hot with potatoes.
Fresh Fish with Salmoriglio Sauce
This is a Sicilian-inspired dish sure to please the toughest food critic. Enjoy it during a warm Italian summer day relaxing at an eatery close to the beach. Made with many types of fresh fish, its hallmark is the Salmoriglio sauce, which dates back centuries.
The sauce is made from a mix of olive oil, lemon, garlic and oregano and cooked as close to serving time as possible, which intensifies the taste of the sauce and fish.
Sea Bass Pomodoro
Adding tomatoes, or pomodoro, is a classic way to enhance the flavor of many Italian foods such as freshly caught sea bass. With this dish, the pomodoro sauce is made with pancetta, an Italian bacon that's saltier than American bacon and is also spiced, giving the sauce a unique flavor.
This meal is best enjoyed with freshly caught sea bass and fresh tomatoes. Pair it with a nice glass of Italian red wine.