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Sfogi in Saor

This is a classic Venetian dish which has been given to me by our Editor, Sarah Randell. Sfogi (sole) is pronounced ‘sforgey’. It is a lovely sweet and sour combination.


This recipe is taken from The Delia Collection: Italian.


First of all, season the flour and lightly dust the fish fillets with it, tapping off the excess as you go. Then heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and when it is sizzling, fry the fish on both sides (2-3 minutes on each) in batches until lightly golden and crisp. Remove the cooked fillets to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Now arrange the fish in a single layer in a serving dish and wipe out the frying pan.

Now put the sultanas in a small bowl, cover them with warm water and leave them to soak and plump up. Then heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and stir in the thinly sliced onion. Reduce the temperature to low, cover with a lid, and leave the onions to gently stew for 20-25 minutes until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.

When the time is up, increase the heat and add the vinegar, wine and cinnamon sticks to the pan. Boil the mixture, uncovered, for 3 minutes and then take the pan off the heat. Now, drain the sultanas and stir them into the onions with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the pine nuts and pared orange rind and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Finally, pour the marinade over the fish and tuck the bay leaves among the fillets. Now leave everything to cool, then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours before using.

Serve the fish at room temperature with good Italian bread.



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