You can do this with any kind of really fresh fish, or with shrimp. Or both. I sometimes put in some squid as well. Acqua Pazzo means crazy water, in the language spoken in the boot-shaped country. This goes well with lots of rustic Italian bread. It is easy, quick and delicioso.
100 ml extra-virgin olive oil (yes, lots)
1 medium onion, cut into 1 cm dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
30 ml fresh hot chiles
250 g fennel, cut into 1 cm dice, fronds reserved
1 large can tomatoes with juices, squished by hand
2 cups white wine (Corvo is best, Frascati will do)
125 ml S. Pellegrino sparkling water plus 5 ml salt
16 fresh large shrimp, peeled and heads left intact, or equivalent quantity of fresh fish fillets, cut into pieces. Or a combination.
5 ml Ricard, Pernod or Ouzo.(optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Do it like this:
In a large pot, heat the oil until smoking. Add the onion, garlic, chiles, and fennel and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until soft and light golden brown. Add the tomatoes, wine, and salted water and bring to a boil. Add Pernod if using. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add the shrimp or fish and simmer until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Don't overcook. Check salt. Pour into a soup tureen, garnish with fennel fronds or lots of chopped parsley, and serve with plenty of freshly ground pepper, and Italian bread.
Serves 4 hungry people.