I have a new found appreciation for cooking meats in sauces as the sauce helps keep the meat nice and moist and it also infuses the meat with its flavours as it cooks. The meats juices also drip directly into the sauce further enhancing the sauces flavour. It's a win win scenario that results in tons of flavour!
I while ago I came across this recipe for fish a la spetsiota or fish done in the style of Spetses, on kalofagas.ca which caught my attention because the fish is baked in a tomato sauce. The tomato sauce sounded nice and simple and I knew that after cooking with the fish they would both be wonderfully tasty! Topping the fish with bread crumbs also sounded good, though I could not help myself and I added some cheese in the form of grated parmigiano reggiano. I used some stale whole grained bread that I toasted and processed in a food processor for the bread crumbs for some extra texture.
While cleaning out my freezer recently I came across some basil pesto. I had made a bunch of the pesto in the summer when the basil was plentiful and I had frozen the extras to enjoy during the winter. I thought that serving the fish covered in the tasty tomato sauce on a bed of basil pesto rice would be nice and I decided to finish the meal off with some steamed spinach.
The fish a la spetsiota turned out really well! The sole fillets were nice and moist and so full of flavour! The bread crumb and parmigiano reggiano really finished the fish in tomato sauce off nicely. The spinach and basil pesto rice soaked up any excess sauce meaning that there was never a dull moment in the meal. I will definitely be making this again!
Fish a la Spetsiota(makes 4 servings)
4 fish fillets (rinsed and pat dry, I used sole fillets)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup canned plum tomatoes and their juice
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1. Season the fish with salt and pepper and let them stand for 20-30 minutes.
2. Mix the tomatoes, garlic, parsley, oregano and wine in a food processor and let stand for 20-30 minutes.
3. Grease the bottom of a baking dish with the oil.
4. Spread half of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the baking pan.
5. Place the fish in the baking pan and cover with the remaining tomato sauce.
6. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and parmigiano reggiano over the top.
7. Bake in a preheated 375F oven the sauce thickens and the top is golden brown.
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