Italian sea bass with tomato sauce

Italian sea bass with tomato sauce
  • Serves icon Serves 2
  • Time icon Hands on time 20 mins, Simmering time 1 hour

Cooking whole fish needn’t be scary! This Italian whole sea bass recipe comes from Giovann Attard, head chef at Norma in London, prized for their hearty and inventive Sicilian food. Once you have the sauce simmering, the fish is so simple to prepare, and requires nothing more than a hot grill and a lick of olive oil.

Enjoy the fish with chipped cubed potatoes such as these, or some fresh bread to mop up.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
575kcals
Fat
37g (6.6g saturated)
Protein
39.1g
Carbohydrates
18.6g (13.1g sugars)
Fibre
5.4g
Salt
1.6g
Calories
575kcals
Fat
37g (6.6g saturated)
Protein
39.1g
Carbohydrates
18.6g (13.1g sugars)
Fibre
5.4g
Salt
1.6g

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce

  • 400g tomatoes on the vine, quartered
  • 200ml water
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 basil sprigs
  • 2 flatleaf parsley sprigs, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • 20ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 50g caper berries
  • 50g black olives, pitted

For the fish

  • Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 sea bass (about 400g), gutted and scaled

Method

  1. Place the fresh tomatoes, water and tinned tomatoes in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add the basil and parsley, then use a hand blender to briefly blitz the mixture into a coarse sauce. Continue to simmer over a low heat, taking care not to let it burn, for 25 minutes or until it’s reduced by half. Finish with the olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  2. Place a separate saucepan over a medium heat and drizzle in a glug of olive oil. Fry the sliced garlic, caper berries and black olives for a few minutes, then pour in the tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes, then season to taste with salt.
  3. While the tomato sauce simmers, get your grill on a high heat or light a barbecue. Use a sharp knife to cut a slit along each fillet lengthwise. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and season with rock salt.
  4. Place the fish on the hot barbecue or under the grill and cook for 6 minutes on each side. This should give the skin a nice colour and the inside flesh underneath should be moist and just opaque.
  5. Spoon most of the tomato sauce on a serving platter – the tomato water will naturally separate out from the oil a little. Place the fish on top, then finish with the remaining sauce, a few parsley sprigs and a final drizzle of oil.

delicious. tips

  1. Sea bass has varied sustainability ratings, so consider where it’s coming from. Wild stocks can be scarce, so choose responsibly farmed or line-caught, and avoid fish caught by trawling or netting. For more info, visit msc.org and mcsuk.org

  2. You can make the tomato sauce up to 2 days in advance, then gently reheat it before serving.

Recipe By

Giovann Attard

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