Scampi alla busara: a Delicious Traditional Fish-Dish from Trieste

Despite its controversial origin (Croatia? Venetian Laguna? Trieste?), “Scampi alla busara” is nowadays one of the most appreciated dishes of the Triestine cuisine and of the gastronomic tradition of the High Adriatic.

The origin of the name buzara or busara is unclear.  For some people, the dialect Venetian word  “busiaro” means “liar”, because the Venetian fishermen cooked crayfishy scraps with tomatoes and wine pretending it to be a delicious soup. Others think that the term derives from the iron pot used to prepare it.

 Keep reading and get ready for plenty of crusty bread to clean up the sauce!

Scampi alla busara: a Delicious Traditional Fish-Dish from Trieste



Preparation Time: 10 minCooking Time: 20 min
35 min

Scampi alla busara: a Delicious Traditional Fish-Dish from Trieste


  • 1 kg fresh scampi
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 1 small can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 dried chilli, crushed
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped


  • Pour the olive oil in a frying pan and set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots. Stir until light brown.
  • Add the scampi and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side (it depends on the size of scampi). Pour in the wine, and allow it to evaporate. 
  • Remove the scampi from the frying pan and set them aside.
  • Add the peeled tomatoes and the crushed chilli to the pan, and lower the heat. Cover the pan and let it cook until obtaining a thick sauce (about 10 minutes). Taste the sauce, then add salt and black pepper.
  • Put the scampi in the pan again and toss with the sauce. Increase the heat and sauté for a maximum of five minutes, then remove from the heat and sprinkle with parsley.
Scampi alla busara: a Delicious Traditional Fish-Dish from Trieste
  • The best part comes now, as you are allowed to clean up the sauce with plenty of crusty bread. As an alternative, you could also toss it with a portion of  linguine pasta paired with some chilled dry white wine, like Malvasia. 

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