Italian Baked Fish

Four pieces of any white fish can be used for this dish, though my own personal choice is cod steaks on the bone. An interesting variation on this recipe is to add a dessertspoon of chopped fennel leaves to the tomato sauce before pouring it over the fish for baking.

Serves 4

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.

Italian Baked Fish
 4 thick pieces cod (or other white fish)
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 medium onion, finely chopped
 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
 1 lb (450 g) ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 x 14 oz (400 g) tin Italian tomatoes
 4 oz (110 g) mushrooms, thinly sliced
 1 level tablespoon fresh chopped basil
 1 level tablespoon capers, chopped
 juice ½ lemon
 12 black olives
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
 1 dessertspoon fennel leaves (optional, see intro)
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).


Start by making a good thick tomato sauce: heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for about 5 minutes. Now add the garlic and tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper, then bring to simmering point and cook gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next add the sliced mushrooms, making sure that they are well stirred in. Simmer for a further 10 minutes until it looks like a thick sauce. Lastly, stir in the fresh basil and chopped capers.

Now place the fish in a shallow baking dish or tin, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle a little lemon juice on each piece. Next spoon an equal quantity of the sauce on to each piece of fish and arrange a few olives on top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake on a high shelf for about 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Serve with new potatoes or brown rice and a tossed green salad.

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