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Branzino in Salsa Piccante (Mediterranean Sea Bass in Spicy Toma

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“This dish is rich with tomatoes, capers and olives. Stashing for summertime use when the anglers come home with their sea bass, snapper, croakers & sheepshead. May even work with bluefish as the flavors are bold and assertive. Will be tasty on a hot evening on the porch accompanied by an icy 7 oz Rolling Rock. Found in The Washington Post who adapted from "Cucina of Le Marche," by Fabio Trabocchi (Workman, 2006).”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Have ready a flameproof baking dish or roasting pan large enough to hold the fish in a single layer.
  2. Rinse the fish well and pat dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper, inside and out. Stuff each fish with half the basil. Rub 1/4 cup of the olive oil into the skin of the fish, and set aside.
  3. Place the baking dish or roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup of the olive oil, the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the chopped chili pepper and bell pepper, and cook for 3 minutes, or until they have softened. Add the wine and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it has reduced by one-third. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes, capers and olives. When the sauce starts to bubble around the edges, remove from direct heat and keep it warm on the stovetop.
  4. Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Sear the fish for 3 minutes on each side, then transfer to the baking dish and baste with the sauce. Cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 8 minutes. Uncover and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes, basting every 3 to 4 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Transfer the fish and sauce to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the parsley, drizzle with olive oil and serve hot.

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