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Acqua Pazza with Sea Bass and Clams

8 tablespoon s
olive oil
large onion, thinly sliced
2 cup s
tomato concassé (peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes)
1/4 teaspoon
cayenne pepper
Generous pinch of saffron threads
1 pound
littleneck clams, rinsed several times and drained
1 pound
black mussels, debearded, rinsed several times and drained
1/2 cup
dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
Italian eggplants, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
green zucchini, end trimmed, thinly sliced
yellow zucchini, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
basil leaves, chiffonade (see tips)
6-ounce sea bass fillets
1 tablespoon
red bell pepper, cored, seeded, 1/4-inch dice
4 tablespoon s
Basil Oil, (see separate recipe)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
  2. In a sauté pan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook the onions and garlic until soft and glossy, just beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes, cayenne and saffron, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the clams, mussels and white wine. Cover and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Reserve.  
  3. In another sauté pan, over high heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté eggplant slices until lightly browned. Add green and yellow zucchini. Cook another 1 minute, just until heated. Add 1 tablespoon of chiffonade of basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve.  
  4. Season sea bass fillets with salt and pepper. In another sauté pan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sear fillets, meat next to the bone side down first, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and continue to cook another 4 minutes. Transfer to burner, turn fillets. Add butter and baste.

Spoon 1/4 of the tomato sauce on plate. Place 1/4 of the sauteed vegetable slices in the center and top with a piece of sea bass. Garnish with diced bell pepper and remaining chiffonade of basil. Drizzle Basil Oil (see separate recipe) around edge of tomato sauce.

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