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Acqua Pazza with Sea Bass and Clams

Ingredients
Serves:
8 tablespoon s
olive oil
1
large onion, thinly sliced
2 cup s
tomato concassé (peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes)
1/4 teaspoon
cayenne pepper
1
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
salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2
Italian eggplants, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
1
green zucchini, end trimmed, thinly sliced
1
yellow zucchini, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
10
basil leaves, chiffonade (see tips)
4
6-ounce sea bass fillets
1 tablespoon
butter
1
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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