Freshly caught sea bream, fresh tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil and garlic – it encompasses the taste of the sea and the flavours of the South. It is an extremely simple dish to prepare and, provided you have the freshest ingredients and good-quality extra virgin olive oil, you can’t go wrong.
175ml/6fl oz extra virgin olive oil
2 sea bream, weighing about 500g/1lb 2oz each, cleaned and scaled
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
a handful of fresh basil leaves, plus extra to garnish
400ml/14fl oz water
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a fairly high heat. Add the bream, followed by the garlic, tomatoes, basil and some salt. Pour in the water, turn the heat down slightly and cook the fish for 7 minutes on each side. When you flip the fish over, you will know that it is done if the eye has turned white.
Remove the fish from the pan and place on a large serving dish. Turn up the heat, cook the sauce for 30 seconds to concentrate the flavours slightly, and then pour it over the fish. Serve immediately, garnished with basil leaves and with lots of good bread to mop up the delicious sauce.
The featured recipe is from Gennaro’s Passione: The Classic Italian Cookery Book by Gennaro Contaldo