The fish which swam away

I posted last week about the Italian cookbook I found at the brocki, 'Puglie in Bocca' by the food historian Luigi Sada. I love his recipe for 'Vermicelli in a sauce of fish that swam away', faithfully presented here in its entirety, charming English and all:

"Vermicelli" in a sauce of fish that swam away

'Shining evidence of the inventive mind of the poor. The sauce made with with stones covered with sea-weeds keeps a genuine taste of the sea. Hunger excites one's wits and the contrivance of people with little money and no fish can fully satisfy everyone. This recipe from Bari originates back to the XVIII century. It doesn't present any difficulty of preparation. If you want to prepare a sauce of sham fish, take about 1 kilo of shells, or else of sea stones, covered with sea-weeds, and put them into a pot with 3 litres and a half of water, leaving to simmer gently in order to remove the scum. After skimming, put into the white part of 1 celery, some basil leaves, 1 cleaned onion, 4 peppercorns, about 1 kilo of tomatoes, 100 gms of oil; turn up the heat and leave to cook. Pass the lot through a sieve and keep it piping hot. Boil the needed quantity of "vermicelli", place them on a serving dish and pour onto the boiling sauce of fish which swam away. Drink a nice wine like the "Verdea" of Taranto, soft and fresh, at 10 degrees celsius.'

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