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Though sport fisherman love a tussle with them, they aren't the most delicate of fish. The traditional recipes usually stew them with capers or anchovies, or both, plus vegetables and tomatoes: luccio in umido, luccio alla pescatora (Lombardy), luccio in salsa (Mantova), luccio alla Bolsenese (Lazio). In Tuscany and Umbria you might see luccio con salsa al vino, stewed in red wine and spiced with sage and juniper.

Also known as lùs or lùsso in the north, where donkey meat (musso) is also prized in stews and sausages, hence the saying:

carne de lusso, carne de musso

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Yellow Cat