Baked Bluefish

(“Pesce al Forno” – “Pisci ‘Nfurnatu”)


 


The bluefish is abundant in the Atlantic Ocean and it is a very satisfying pleasure to catch it for his tenacity and force.
When staying in our summer home, often I went fishing in the Long Island Sound, with family members or friends and many times we had the pleasure to catch one or more blue fish.
Most of the time we cleaned the fish, stuff the stomach cavity with herbs, cover it with beat egg’s white, coat it with salt and broil it for 15 to 30 minutes or until cooked through. When the salt and scales were removed, the fine textured flesh and the rich taste were enjoyed by our family and guests.
When we caught lot of fish, we made fillets to make it easy to take it back to the city and give to family and friends or to bake the following day in a tomato, wine and basil sauce. 
There are no bluefish in the Mediterranean Sea, therefore in Sicily we use mackerels in this preparation.

 

SERVES 4

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2½ lb. bluefish fillets washed and patted dry. Cut into 4 or 8 pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes (about 1 lb.) thinly sliced and blanched
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • ¼ cup of basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of hot red pepper flakes (Optional)
  • Basil leaves for garnish

 

PREPARATION
In a medium size bowl combine the 2 tablespoons of oil, tomato, garlic, chopped basil, a pinch of red pepper (optional) and salt and pepper to taste. 
Put aside.
Grease a baking pan with the 2 tablespoons of oil and spread blanched potatoes on it, sprinkle some salt and pepper.

 

Place fish over potatoes, skin side down. Shake salt and pepper over fish fillets and cover the fillets with the basil- garlic-tomato sauce; pour wine over it. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, than remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until done.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with basil leaves. Serve the potatoes as the contorno, “side dish”.