This is a wonderful one pot dish using local, fresh fish. The combination of potatoes, fennel, red onion, white wine, green olive and herbs makes a quick and satisfying meal. The beauty of this dish is that you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Serve with fresh bread to sop up the delicious pan juices.
This recipe was shown to me by Carla Tomasi at Latteria Studio in the district of Trastevere in Rome. If ever you are in Rome I would highly recommend you contact them to do a class. The studio is small, so the classes are an intimate size of up to 8 participants, and in a residential area which is off the tourist track, allowing you to feel like a local (if only for a few hours!).
This recipe is for 2 people, but can be easily doubled to feed 4. If you prefer fillets of fish refer to notes at the end of the recipe for cooking time.
1 whole fish, approx 500g, gutted and scaled … such as bream or snapper
salt, to taste
1 clove garlic, left whole with skin on, just bruise it slightly with the flat part of your knife
2 medium waxy potatoes, such as kipfler or dutch cream
1 small bulb fennel, cut into thin wedges
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
2 small carrots, cut into circles
1 small punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
125ml white wine
1/2 tsp dried oregano
10 green olives
a handful fresh herbs, chopped, such as parsley and basil
- Select a roomy frypan, with a lid, that is big enough to hold the vegetables and fish, then place it on the stove with a tablespoon of oil and the clove of garlic. Cook over medium heat until the oil is hot and the garlic is fragrant. Add the potatoes along with a good pinch of salt and toss to coat in the oil. Place the lid on the pan and cook for 8 minutes or so, then remove the lid and lower the heat.
- Next add the wine and oregano and simmer rapidly for a couple of minutes to reduce the wine, then add the remaining vegetables and olives and swirl or wriggle the pan to coat everything in the pan juices.
- Lay the fish on top of the vegetables and pop the lid back on. Increase the heat to high for a minute or so to create a good amount of steam, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables tender. Allow to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
- Finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and scatter with the fresh herbs.
- Serve with some fresh, crusty bread to sop up the delicious pan juices.
Notes: if you prefer to have fillets of fish rather than a whole fish, don’t add fish at step 3. Instead cook the vegetables for about 8 minutes, then add the fillets of fish and cook for another 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet and the type of fish used.