Sunday, November 29, 2009

Acqua Pazza

Fish in Acqua Pazza

Fish in Acqua Pazza is a very quick, simple, and healthy dish.  You can use your favorite white fish, and there really aren't many ingredients required that you don't already have in your refrigerator.  

Serves 2 as a main dish (From the pictures you can tell I was cooking for 4 


1 lb Red Snapper (or any white fish, sea bass, cod, etc)
1 Cup Tomato Concasse
75-100 ml White Wine or Water  
1 Teaspoon Capers 
Fresh Italian Parsley Chopped 
Red Pepper Flakes
Olive Oil


This recipe is about as easy as it gets.  The only step that takes any time or effort is preparing the Tomatoes.  Tomato Concasse are peeled seeded and chopped tomatoes.  If you are in a rush or just not in the mood to prep the Tomatoes, you can take a short cut by chopping the tomatoes without peeling them or seeding them, you can use canned whole tomatoes, and chop them, or just buy canned chopped tomatoes.  If you have cherry or grape Tomatoes handy, just slice them in half, and you are ready to go.  

If you decide to go all out by using Tomato Concasse, first bring a pot of water to a boil, and set out a bowl of ice water.  Cooking Tip:  Score the tomatoes with an X on one end, and take out the core on the other end using a paring knife so it will be easier to peel the Tomatoes later.  I used Roma Tomatoes for this recipe, but you can use any type that you have handy.  Once the water is boiling and the ice bath is ready, place the Tomatoes in the boiling water for about 15 seconds.  You will see the skin of the tomato separate a little bit from the rest of the tomato.  Put the tomatoes directly into the ice bath to cool them and prevent them from cooking any more.  Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin either using your hands or a paring knife.  Now we are ready to chop the tomatoes.  If you want to go all out, you can chop the tomatoes in half, and remove the pulp and seeds using your fingers.  Now all that is left to do, is roughly chop them.  Again, you can take shortcuts, and simply chop up raw tomatoes, or use canned whole tomatoes, etc.

Besides prepping the tomatoes, all you have to do is chop some fresh parsley, and gather together all of your ingredients.

In a large saute pan or sauce pan, place the fish fillets skin down (if your fish has any skin, hopefully it doesn't).  Season the fish with Salt and Pepper, and drizzle with Olive Oil. Then cover the fish with the tomatoes, capers, and sprinkle some Red Pepper Flakes on top (3 to 5 shakes depending on your preference for spice).  Once again season with salt, pepper, and drizzle with Olive Oil.

Pour the White Wine in.  The wine should come about half way up the fish, but not enough to cover the fish entirely.  If you do not have white wine, or are not drinking tonight, just use water.  Bring to a simmer, then cover and let simmer until the fish is cooked through, 12-15 minutes.  Cooking Tip:  You can tell the fish is done by touch, or by separating one of the flakes with the tip of a knife to check if it is opaque and no longer translucent.  Keep in mind that the fish will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat.

Once the fish is cooked, remove it from saute pan, and place it on a serving dish.  Keep the tomatoes and the rest of the sauce in the pan.  Turn up the heat to high, and reduce the tomato mixture for 10-15 minutes.

Once the sauce is thickened , spoon it on top of the fish, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.  Serve with rice pilaf and a side salad for a quick, healthy, and delicious meal.

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