The Dish: Acqua Pazza from Pazzo!

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Photo by Jessica Stringer
Photo by Sarah Arneson

In Italy, fishermen spent hours off the coast, pulling up nets full of seafood. At mealtime on the fishing boats, they cooked the catch of the day in salty Mediterranean water, and thus a classic dish was born. Acqua Pazza – or “crazy water” in Italian – is so beloved that chef Seth Kingsbury nearly named his Southern Village restaurant after it. Instead he settled on Pazzo! and made the dish a staple at his nearly 14-year-old restaurant. Like the fishermen, Seth leaves it up to the sea – or in his case, vendors like Hickman’s Seafood and Steve’s Seafood – to bring him whatever is fresh. This time around, he steamed diver scallops, mussels, fried clams, calamari and N.C. shrimp in white wine and served it all over a bed of homemade angel-hair pasta. At Pazzo!, the only thing crazy about this dish was just how fresh it tasted. Market Price

Pazzo!, 700 Market St.; 919-929-9984;

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Jessica Stringer

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