Acqua Pazza Sea Bass

Acqua Pazza (literally “crazy water”) is a typical fish recipe of the Neapolitan cuisine, consisting in the poaching of fish in olive oil, garlic and chopped up tomatoes ... The fish we have chosen for this recipe is a sea bass! Prized for its tasty, delicious and refined meat, “acqua pazza” sea bass is a perfect dish for the spring and summer time. In fact, it is light and exquisite, thanks to the dainty sauce that is formed while cooking it. It should be served with saragolla bread, a local type of bread made with durum wheat.

Ingredients (serve 4 people):

1.5 kg (53 oz) of sea bass

1 yellow onion

20 g (0.7 oz) of basil (both stems and leaves)

2 cloves of garlic

300 g (10.5 oz) of tomatoes

salt and pepper


Scale and clean the sea bass and cut it into 8 strips then deprive them of the bones.

Cut the onion into thin slices. Sauté the onion, the garlic and part of the basil leaves and stems in a pan with extra virgin olive oil.

Incise the skin of the tomatoes, parboil and peel them: you will get a more appetizing sauce. Add the tomatoes to the sautéed vegetables and crush them. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add water to cover.

Cook for another 10 minutes until the sauce is shiny and delicious.

Plunge the sea bass fillets into the sauce. Place them on the bottom of the pan and do not turn them. Finish cooking by constantly adding the sauce over the fillets.

Once finished, remove the cooked garlic and basil from the sauce, add the remaining basil leaves after chopping them up by hand. Serve the fillets hot in soup plates.