Food and Romance from Around the World: The Adriatic Sea

  • 08.10.12

Prawns cocktail kiwis.

While growing up we used to spend our summers in Italy, more specifically on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. My parents had, and still have this very accommodating summer apartment .  We spent so many wonderful summers there, and being only fifty yards away from having our feet touch the warmth of the sand, it made it even better. 
My most memorable sunrises are from sitting at the beach and waiting for the sun to kiss the water and say hello to another beautiful day.  

At night we know where the sea ended and where the sky started because of the light on the fishing boats was the dividing line between. 

As sunrise the fisherman’s would reach the beach. Ladies with their baskets were there waiting impatiently to see what catch of the day and purchased the freshest, still jumping fishes that they will prepare for lunch or dinner.  My mom was there all the time making sure she was the first in line to get what we liked the most.

I remember her bringing home cannocchie and they were trying to escape from the pan she put them in. The fresh telline fish that she used to prepare alla marinara, (tomato sauce), and serve it into terracotta bowls. And I should not forget the cozze (mussels).
One of my mom special treat to all of us was stuffed seppie. Just writing about it I want some. While cleaning the seppie, (octopus), she would save the ink and prepare it with rice.

We also used to got to Pescara with my dad and visit the fresh fish market at night. Now that was a treat!  Each stand had such a wonderful selection of fish.  I remember eating the fresh cozze, telline so fresh that the fish was moving in the shell. A dash of lemon and down they went.
Another specialty of the area is triglia alla graticula (grilled) and calamaro. Last but not least: lumache di mare con pasta.
A special treat was to eat at Ristorante Cetrullo. The restaurant was overlooking the port inlet and served the house specialty “Seppioline alla Cetrullo”.  The owner Mr. Cetrullo, created the recipe and was published on “Il Carnacina”, book first published on 1961 before I came into this world. The restaurant was spacious and Mr Cetrullo was always happy to show you and tell you all about what you were eating.

Since my early years, I always enjoyed fresh fish.  To me summer would not be summer  if we did not have fish.

Last night I had some wonderfully fresh small prawns and could not pass up the opportunity to make prawns cocktail with it. Obviously I added a spin to it: vodka, kiwis and avocado. I have enjoyed this recipe for quite a few years now and I interchange the prawn with large shrimps.
We just had a simple pasta with fresh tomatoes sauce last night.

Even though we are so far away from Italy and our beach, cooking fresh fish in the summer, it is in my heart a touch of Italy that will always be there.

TIP:  I let the fish marinate  in the vodka for the adults. For the little ones I let it marinate in lemon juice instead. I always keep 1 tablespoon of the vodka that I incorporate with all the other ingredients.
Bon Appetit!


Tonight’s August 9, 2012 dinner:
Prawn Cocktail with Kiwis
Spaghetti with fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Fruit



  • ½ pound fresh prawns or already cooked
  • 3 tablespoon Rum, Vodka or Gin
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche or, sour cream
  • Fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 2 small pinches of Tabasco
  • 5-6 Boston lettuce leaves
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and thinly slices
  • ½ of a lemon
  • 1 avocado cut in small cubes

Marinate the prawns in the Rum (vodka or gin) for 20 minutes.

Mix together the mayonnaise with the crème fraiche, the fresh chives and Tabasco. Gently incorporate the marinated prawns and the avocado cubes.

Wash and dry the lettuce leaves. Stack them one in top of the other and roll them together. On a cutting board sliced the lettuce roll in fine slices.

In 4 glasses, put one layer of lettuce, one layer of prawns mayonnaise mixture, one layer of lettuce. Place the thinly slices kiwis around the lettuce mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle with the lemon and keep in the refrigerator until time to serve.


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Comments (2) Post a Reply

  1. That was a lovely story about your childhood. Thank you for sharing.

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