For a more intense tomato flavor, you can cook the sauce for longer - about 15 minutes before adding the fish, so the tomatoes soften and thicken the sauce. In this case you might prefer to peel the tomatoes, so their skins won't mar the sauce's smooth texture. To combine both effects - concentrated tomato flavor and freshness, cook a 15-minute tomato sauce and add a few diced fresh tomatoes for the last 2 or 3 minutes.
FISH WITH FRESH TOMATOES, GARLIC AND HERBS
Use cod, tilapia (amnon
) or any lean white fish for this simple, easy to prepare dish. Flavor the savory sauce any fresh herb you like - I use dill or thyme most often but fresh coriander (cilantro) or parsley are also good. I like to serve the fish with side dishes of steamed brown rice and green beans cooked with yellow squash.
• 450 gr. to 500 gr. fillets of lean fish such as cod or
• 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, or a little more if
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• 3 Tbsp. dry white wine, vegetable broth or water
• 4 medium-size tomatoes, diced small
• 1/2 tsp. hot or semi-hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
• 2 to 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
Check fish carefully and remove any bones. Rinse fish and thoroughly pat dry. Cut it in 8 pieces.
Heat about 21/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick. Add fish, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and sauté over medium to medium-high heat 1 minute per side. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Added remaining oil to pan, heat it and add garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant, then add wine and bring to a boil, stirring. Add tomatoes and heat for about 1 minute. Returned fish to pan, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 2 or 3 minutes or until its color has changed from translucent to opaque; cut a piece to check. Add pepper flakes and dill. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve fish in its sauce.
Makes about 4 servings.SICILIAN SEA BASS SAUCE FOR PASTA OR RICE
A pasta dish I enjoyed at a Sicilian seafood restaurant in Rome
inspired this light summery entree. The sea bass cooks directly in an aromatic tomato sauce flavored with basil and oregano. The chef strained the sauce, but you can leave the vegetable chunks in it if you prefer.
At the restaurant the sauce was tossed with vermicelli, but it's also very good spooned over steamed brown or white rice.
Cooked about 450 grams pasta or 1 to 11/2 cups rice.
• 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1 small carrot, finely diced
• 1 medium celery rib, diced
• 4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
• 4 ripe medium tomatoes, peeled if
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to
• 1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes or
cayenne pepper to taste
• 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves or
1/4 tsp. dried
• 1 bay leaf
• 500 gr. sea bass or cod fillet
• 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
or 2 to 3 tsp. dried
• 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
• 1 sweet yellow or green pepper, seeds
and ribs discarded, cut in
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large deep skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables soften, about 7 minutes; do not let them brown. Cut tomatoes in chunks and add them. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes or cayenne and thyme. Add bay leaf and push it into liquid. Bring to a boil. Add fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat 4 minutes per side, or until a skewer inserted into center of fish in thickest part is hot when touched to underside of your wrist. Transfer fish to a platter, cover and keep it warm.
Simmer sauce uncovered over medium heat, stirring often, about 10 minutes or until tomatoes are very soft. Add liquid that escapes from fish. Stir tomato paste into sauce until well blended. Remove from heat and stir in oregano and basil. Discard bay leaf.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add bell pepper and sauté about 7 minutes or until just tender. Add to sauce. Cut fish in bite-size chunks and add to sauce. Heat through briefly. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Makes 4 servings