Pesce all’acqua pazza: „Fish in crazy water“

It is unclear why the water in which this fish is simmered is considered to be crazy. It might be due to the chillies that give this dish a spicy tang, or due to the fact that the water is actually mostly wine. These considerations apart, this dish is a simple and extremely easy recipe that lives off the quality of its ingredients.

You need good sea fish. The usual choices would be sea bream, sea bass or red snapper but you may vary freely on this. A whole fish (or several) are the classic choice, but again, you may vary, and if you prefer fish fillets that is fine as well. The other ingredients are good olive oil, garlic, onion, chillies, sage, white wine, cherry tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper.


Pour a decent amount of olive oil into a pan that is big enough to hold your fish. Add the sliced garlic, fry it slightly, add the chopped onion, the halfed cherry tomatoes, the chillies, and some sage leaves. (Some versions ask for bay leaves instead – do as you prefer.) As it is winter at the moment, I have used sundried and soaked tomatoes instead of fresh ones. You would want savoury, tasty tomatoes for this recipe, so dried tomatoes are a good substitute in winter.

Add a good amount of white wine as well as a little water, season with salt and pepper, leave it to simmer for some moments, then add the fish. Close the pan with a lid until the fish is cooked – ready! Sprinkle it with some chopped parsley and serve with bread or even with pasta.

Note: You can also add the chillies later, after serving, if not everybody at the table likes to eat spicy.


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