The sea in the area of Latina is rich in
fish, crustaceans and shellfish to be boiled, grilled, stewed or baked, but the main specialty is the fish soup, which can be tasted in the good restaurants along the Ulysses Riviera in several traditional local variations, included the “acqua pazza”, made with the waste fish that fishermen prepared on board with a little oil, garlic and water. A pebble from the sea bottom is thrown into the soup in order to give it a special flavour. Since the Middle Ages this soup was very common among the poor pilgrims directed to Jerusalem or other spiritual sites.
This genuine fish soup can be tasted in Gaeta, San Felice Circeo, Terracina, the islands of Ponza and Ventotene and many other towns along the coast. Very good quality local fish is used, such as
crock fish, weever, conger eels, scorpion fish and others. The soup also includes molluscs such as mussels, snails, clams, small octopuses, cuttlefish and squid and crustaceans like prawns, shrimps and mantis shrimps.
Cut octopuses, cuttlefish and squids into small pieces then fry them in a pan in which you had previously browned garlic and chili pepper in olive oil. Wet the molluscs with white wine and let it quickly evaporate before adding the peeled tomatoes.
Continue adding first the bigger fish and the crustaceans and then add the mussels after cleaning them from the sand. In the end pour the boiling broth on slices of stale bread, previously toasted in the oven, and then lay the fish. The fish soup must be reserved at restaurants even a few days in advance, because of the great variety and freshness of the products.