Friday, 17 April 2015


This is one of the most popular fish recipes you would find on the menus of the myriads of restaurants that are dotted all along the Amalfi coast of Italy.  Among Italians it is known as Pesce all'acqua pazza or Fish in crazy water, referring both to the aromatic herbed broth it is cooked in and the generic recipe for poached fish.  

delicious fish dish

Traditionally, this method calls for small fish such as bream or snapper, however after some experimentation, I came to the conclusion that fish fillets work just as well.  Not only you don't need to deal with bones especially if your household includes children but also the portions seem to be more of an even size, they present well and are easy to cook. Above all that, the fish tastes delicious which is exactly what we are after.

To feed 6 people you need:
200ml dry white wine
200ml water
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 small whole bream or snapper, 500 each, cleaned and scaled
or 6 fillets of any white fish about 250 gr each
1 punnet (250g) of cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp basil leaves, torn
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp flat parsley leaves, torn
1 lemon, quartered

Cut the tomatoes in halve.  In a large frying pan, combine the wine, water, salt and olive oil and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes, then gently slip the fish into the broth, add the cherry tomatoes, basil, lemon zest and capers. 

Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 3 minutes, if using fillets.  If you are cooking a whole fish, cook it for about 5 minutes on each side.  Carefully turn the fish over and simmer for another 3-4 minutes, depending on the size.  It is cooked when the flesh parts from the bone at the touch of a knife.
Remove the fish onto warm plates, bring the broth to the boil and spoon over the fish.  Scatter with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

The broth is so good that you definitely don't want to waste it, so the best way to serve this dish is with young boiled potatoes or a bowl of plain pasta laced generously with extra virgin olive oil.


No comments:

Post a Comment