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A great Mediterranean fish. I like Benanti Bianco di Caselle 2011, Sicilia.
- 4 to 6 whole sea bass (1 pound each)
- ¾ Cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/3 Cup olive oil
- ½ Cup of Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
Calories Per Serving801
Folate equivalent (total)75µg19%
Italian-Style Whole Roasted Fish in Herbs (Pesce al forno)
Roasting a whole fish is a procedure more than a recipe, and will work well with any sort of fish that takes well to being roasted.
Fish availability changes remarkably from place to place in the Italian seas the fish most prized for roasting are branzini, orate, saraghi, spigole, dentice, and cefali -- According to Alan Davidson's Mediterranean Seafood (Penguin Books), these are sea bass, gilt-head bream, dentex, two-banded bream, and gray mullet.
Because of bones, skin, and such, you should figure about one pound of fish per diner. Have your fishmonger clean and scale the fish for you.
When you get home, wash the fish well, inside and out, and pat it dry.
If you are wondering about how to pair your roasted fish with wine, there are those who like a red with this sort of fish, but I continue to prefer white. If the fish is flavorful, a Sauvignon Blanc, Tocai, or Chardonnay from Friuli will be nice, and will a Trebbiano from the Abruzzo. If it's more delicate, I might go with a Vermentino from Tuscany or Liguria.
[Edited by Danette St. Onge]
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 red onion, chopped
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 whole Branzino (sea bass) fish, cleaned
- 2 wedges fresh lemon
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- ½ cup white wine
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- ¼ cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 2 lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large baking pan add onion and season with salt and pepper.
Place the 2 cleaned fish into the baking pan and stuff each cavity with 1 lemon wedge, 1 rosemary sprig, and some of the red onion. Pour white wine and lemon juice over each fish and sprinkle with oregano. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the 2 fish.
Bake in the preheated oven until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 25 minutes. Gently slide a spatula between the bones to separate fish remove all the bones. Serve fish on a platter and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.
Prepare sea bass by making sure there are no bones or cartilage remaining. Slice fillets into four equal weight pieces and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mix basil pesto with salt and honey and set aside. Place pro- sciutto slices on flat surface and add a large tablespoon of the pest mix spread- ing it evenly leaving edged of prosciutto dry Place sea bass in the middle and wrap folding over prosciutto.
In large sauté pan over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil , add wrapped fillets browning prosciutto on both sides very lightly then place in oven for 5 minutes pull and let rest for 3 minutes. Then slice prosciutto off sea bass with scissors or a sharp knife.
In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat add olive oil, carrots, celery and onion and sautés for 2 minutes until vegetables breakdown then add shallots and thyme, sauté for 2 more minutes. Deglaze pan with Vin Santo and let reduce for 5 minutes under medium heat add fish or chicken stock , let re- duce by ½ and add salt and honey until sauce thickens, keep warm until ready.
Place sea bass fillets on white plate then spoon sauce until covered add some drops of balsamic for presentation. Then toss fennel with all ingredients in a bowl then top sea bass with salad.
The night before you plan to serve this dish, put the fish filets on a plate lined with a paper towel, flesh-side down and place in the fridge to chill overnight (the fan in the fridge will dry the skin so you can get a really nice crust).
The next day, preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium-sized sauté pan, under medium heat, add a nice drizzle of olive oil and when oil is hot, add the potatoes, flesh-side down and season with kosher salt. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat, add another drizzle of olive oil. Dab the fish with a paper towel to make sure it's completely dry, season the flesh with kosher salt well and place in the sauté pan, skin-side down. Place a fish weight on the filet (or you can use a smaller pot to weigh the fish down). After the fish has cooked all the way through, you'll see flesh just turn white, turn off the heat and allow to rest in the pan.
To make the salad, rub the garlic clove in the bowl to get the perfume. Add the olives, olive puree, tomatoes, basil leaves, lemon juice and finally warm potatoes from the oven. Mix well with a little more olive oil. Serve alongside the beautiful, crispy fish and wedges of lemon.
Pesce al forno con patate (Baked Fish with Potatoes)
We’ve looked at Angelina’s pollo e patate (chicken and potatoes) and agnello e patate (lamb and potatoes). Well, fish is also exquisite with potatoes as well, and while the chicken and lamb were ‘down home’ dishes, pesce al forno con patate, baked fish with potatoes, is elegant enough to serve for a formal dinner party. It is a popular item on the menu of Roman restaurants, where the waiters may dazzle you with their fish-boning skills, as they separate the fish fillets from the lisca (fish backbone) and serve the fillets to you, fully intact, along with a nice helping of creamy, unctuous potato.
The basic technique for baked fish with potatoes, however, is a little different from the other dishes we’ve looked at. The main difference is that fish, even a whole fish called for here, takes less time to cook than potatoes. The recipes for this dish generally suggest one or both of two ways to get around this: some recipes (including most modern ones) will tell you to slice the potatoes into paper-thin slices this speeds up their cooking time. Older recipes, including one from Ada Boni in her iconic Talismano, suggest that you oven roast the potatoes for a good 20-30 minutes before you add the fish this gives them a good head start in the cooking process. I prefer the older method, since it is basically fool-proof. Either way, the fish is not mixed up in pieces as for chicken or lamb, but laid, whole (head and tail included) on top of a bed of potatoes. Often, a few pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) are laid around the fish as well to add color and flavor.
Serves 3-6, depending on the size of the fish and appetites
- 1 whole fish, cleaned and gutted, but with the head and tail left on (see Notes)
- 4-6 medium potatoes (or more if you like)
- Olive Oil
- A sprig of fresh rosemary (or another fresh herb of your choice)
- Salt and Pepper
- A garlic clove, finely chopped
- A few cherry tomatoes, split in half
- A drizzle of white wine
Peel and slice the potatoes as thinly as you can manage. (If you have a ‘mandoline’ or food processor with a slicing blade, it will make short work of this. But if you have decent knife skills, it should not take long.
Mix the potato slices with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and a few rosemary leaves that you will have finely chopped. If using the garlic, add it as well. (In the alternative, you can simply rub the baking dish with garlic, which gives a very subtle savoriness to the dish, suitable for more formal occasions.)
Lay the potato slices on the bottom of a baking dish large enough to accommodate the fish and potatoes comfortably. (If you want to be fancy, you can arrange the slices in neat rows or an attractive pattern for a more elegant look.)
Roast the potatoes in a moderate hot oven (190°C/375°F) for about 20-30 minutes. Then remove them from the oven and lay the whole fish, which you will have seasoned well with salt and pepper, over the potatoes, with the sprig of rosemary (or another herb you fancy) inserted inside it. If using, arrange the tomato halves around the fish. Drizzle the whole with some more olive oil and, if you like, a bit of white wine (not too much) which will help the potatoes to soften and add a slight tartness that complements the dish.
Bake the fish until done, usually about 20-30 minutes more (see Notes). Let your baked fish with potatoes rest and cool off for a good 5-10 minutes before serving. Now it’s time for you to show off your fish-boning skills for all your guests… and even if your fish boning skills won’t dazzle them—and that’s certainly the case with me—the fish will still be delicious!
Just about any decent sized fish will do. In Rome, I remember the most popular fish seemed to be orata (sea bream) and spigola (aka branzino), European sea bass, which I have seen marketed here in the US with the Italian name ‘branzino’. But red snapper, for example, is very fine indeed made this way, too. Do be sure to tell your fishmonger to scale and gut the fish, but to leave head and tail on. Not only is the presentation more dramatic, these parts of the fish do add a great deal of flavor, even if you don’t eat them. (Actually, they say the most delicate part of the fish is the cheek, which you can ‘fish out’ with a spoon—pardon the pun—right below the eye.) If you are squeamish about the idea, however, the recipe will still work with head and tail removed. You can even use fish fillets if you like, but then increase the cooking time for the potatoes so they are almost done before laying on your fillets, which should only take about five minutes more.
Speaking of cooking time, you may have seen or read the ‘rule of thumb’ for cooking fish: 10 minutes per 2.5cm/1 inch of thickness. I find that this works rather well, but I usually shave a couple of minutes off the total cooking time, as I abhor overcooked fish. You can also calculate cooking time by weight, as shown here. As for meat, you can usually tell when fish is done by its texture: once it loses its springiness when you poke it with your fingers, it is done. If you wait until the flesh is flaky, it’ll be overdone.
Boning a whole fish is a real skill. Watching your waiter fillet a fish at tableside is one of the small delights of dining in a good fish restaurant in Rome (and elsewhere in Italy). But it is a skill that just about anyone can master, and a great way to impress your dinner guests! There are a few different ways to do it, but my basic technique is to slip my filleting knife from the sides of the fish, along the top of the backbone to loosen the fillets above. Then I cut vertically from above along the backbone to cut the flesh into two halves, then lift each half, intact, on to plates. The backbone will now be exposed, ready to lift out, leaving the flesh below, which you can easily cut in half and lift out. This produces four nice fillets for your diners. Smaller fish (like trout) will produce only two fillets, one top and one bottom, while very large fish you can give your eight pieces by splitting the fillets cross-wise. It’s one of those things that sounds more complicated than it really is. The best way to learn is to see it done this video, which shows a slightly different and simpler method, is a bit worn but it shows you the basic method.
Personally, I love fish skin so I never remove it, but for those who want skinless fillets, it is quite easy to remove the top side skin before you begin this operation. In fact, as shown in the video, it does make the job of filleting that much easier.
NB: Remember, filleting a fish only removes the backbone. You and your dining companions will still need to take care to remove the pin bones as you eat.
But don’t all this deter you, as it will become second nature with time, and baked fish with potatoes is one of the great delights of the Italian—or any other—table!
Branzino al Forno
Very good Italian food. And very reasonably priced (for Santa Monica). Lasagna was just perfect: homemade pasta with good cheese with nice crust outside but not overcooked inside. And Branzino al Forno was very good. Service was just right: attentive, but not overbearing. We all loved this place!
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- Andie B.
- Los Angeles, CA
- 284 friends
- 356 reviews
- 635 photos
- Elite ’21
(1) Appetizer - Carpaccio di Tonno (This convoluted name simply stands for Ahi Tuna Sashimi with baby mixed greens. The greens had extra virgin olive oil lemon as dressing). Very good!
(2) Entree - Branzino al Forno (oven-broiled Striped Sea Bass in an extra virgin olive oil lemon-herb sauce). Delicious!
(3) Dessert - We ordered two and they were both pretty good. One was the Chocolate Molten Cake & the Banana Cream Tart.
(1) Calamari Fritti - How in the world can a calamari fritti go wrong? But went wrong it did. It tasted like it was fried in cold cooking oil.
(2) Mushroom Risotto - This one was also terrible. As you know, risotto is not fried but it tasted as bad as the calamari fritti. Yup! Like it was fried in cold cooking oil.
Service: Very good. Our server, among other things, was happy to bring my cousin's birthday dessert.
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- Sarina V.
- Los Angeles, CA
- 773 friends
- 588 reviews
- 1429 photos
I actually really really liked this place, some good Italian food I haven't had in awhile! A group of 6 came for DINE LA / restaurant week, and this place did an excellent job! Mostly because the steak I had was one of the best and the sauce was amazing.
They start you off with some really warm bread and a roasted garlic olive oil dip with fresh basil. SO GOOD, I could've ate that for dinner and gotten full.
Anyways we ended up also getting 2 bottles of wine which were really good. We ordered a pizza, which wasn't on dine LA menu too. And were given a couple other dishes.
Here's a breakdown of everything:
Insalata alla Burrata (5 stars): Heirloom tomatoes with fresh burrata, prosciutto, olive oil, sea salt, aged balsamic. It was perfect, I was craving burrata and this def satisfied my tastebuds! Pretty decent portion too!
Ravioli alla Ricotta e Spinaci (5 stars): This was another great appetizer, the tomato sauce with a touch of cream was so fresh and amazing!
Calamari (4 stars): Batter was excellent, sauce was amazing!
Bruschetta (5 stars): This was really good on the flatbread, almost like a pizza, plus it had burrata, lots of flavor!
Pizza Siciliana (5 stars): Really good pizza, sausage was spicy and so much flavor. Really good pizza, thin crust, lots of sauce.
Gnocci alla Funghi Porcini e Vitello con Tartufo (5 stars): This was really good gnocci, one of the best I tasted, lots of sauce and lots of black truffles. And the sauce didn't overpower the truffles either, it was a really good dish!
Branzino al Forno (4 stars): This was really good branzino , the sauce is amazing!
Filetto Al Porto (5 stars): OMG, this was an amazing steak, I got it medium and it was still super juicy. One of the best ones I've had at an Italian place, if not the best. The sauce was super good, I'm such a sauce person. So I was a sucker for the dish.
Molten Chocolate Cake (3.5 stars): I do think they need to work on their desserts, this was OK, too over chocolate-y for me :(
Affogato (5 stars): This was actually really good, the ice cream is fresh and I tried it with the espresso but didn't actually pour it in because I don't like coffee and didn't want to stay up all night. But for people who like coffee and dessert, this is a must!
This was a good experience for DINE LA. The portions were big the service was phenomenal, and all for $35. I saved about probably $15-$20. What a steal! I will definitely be coming back here!
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- Sebastian G.
- La Puente, CA
- 233 friends
- 102 reviews
- 88 photos
- Elite ’21
This place is rather small but the ambiance makes up for it. I'd suggest to make reservations beforehand, just to be safe.
I ordered the Branzino Al Forno (striped sea bass in a lemon herb sauce accompanied by sautéed spinach, carrots, and mashed potatoes that were heavenly). They also have a good wine selection. Towards the end, I decided to order their crème brûlée and that was absolutely delicious.
Others will see how you vote!
This was my first time at La Vecchia Cucina, and I was looking forward to trying their Branzino Al Forno (sea bass with lemon herb sauce) for lunch--in fact, salivating at the thought. A small hitch when I got there--it wasn't offered as part of their lunch menu. No problem. Our server was able to get it made specially, given that I was there for that specific dish and it did not disappoint. The service was great and the food was yummy. What more can you ask? I am definitely going back for the same dish AND trying one of their desserts. Yay.
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- Ziggy C.
- Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, CA
- 47 friends
- 39 reviews
- 11 photos
The food, as usual, was excellent. Especially the lasagna and the caprese. The bread was warm and fresh we had to be careful not to fill up on that so we would have room for the meal. However, the Branzino Al Forno was not striped sea bass, as described in the menu. It was some sort of fresh water bass. This is obvious because the filet that was served was too thin to be from a sea bass, which is usually quite thick. This filet could have been from a freshwater bass or from another fish entirely. So, there was some false advertising with respect to that dish. Everything else was excellent,though, including the tiramisu for dessert. So I can still highly recommend La Vecchia as one of the best Italian restaurants around.
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Best Italian restaurant in LA. We eat here once a week and the food is off the charts. Recommended dishes: Pollo Al Limon, Branzino Al Forno , Bruschetta, Farfalle, to name a few.
Service is great too and ask for Annie when ordering to go or nailing down a reservation. She's on it!
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- Jean L.
- Santa Monica, CA
- 541 friends
- 453 reviews
- 396 photos
Hidden behind the Victorian and fronted by a cheesy neon sign, I've bypassed this Italian joint far too many times. We decided to drop in for a dineLA night. I made reservations and upon arrival, we were told to take our pick of window or inner seating. Of course, since there was only one window table for 2, we chose that one. which gave way to an evening of people peering in to see what we were eating.
The bread was okay, but the garlic evoo dip it came with was addictive. Just be sure you don't have another event to attend to afterwards!
Wine list was decent, and the pours were generous.
I opted for the salad of cut heirloom tomatoes fanned out over burrata cheese, overlying another spread of San Daniele prosciutto, drizzled with Sicilian extra virgin olive oil, 15-year aged Italian balsamic vinegar, sea salt and fresh basil. and was pleasantly surprised to find the medley AMAZING. The burrata and prosciutto tore to the knife, the condiments added a nice kick to everything.
My friend ordered the spinach ravioli. As an app, it was only four though large pieces. Each one, moreover, was packed with ricotta, spinach and Parmesan cheese. The pomodoro sauce it was swimming in, touched with micro basil, was a perfect pairing. Heavier app, but nonetheless delicious and well done.
My order of branzino al forno was a generous cut of striped sea bass. I asked that they go light on the evoo lemon herb sauce and was delighted by the waitress' so-LA response - I could have it on the side! Awesome, so I did. It ended being perfect the branzino was salted, tender and meaty, and controlling how much extra dip I wanted gave it the right touch.
Though I do wish I had ordered the filetto al porto, a hefty - and I mean SUBSTANTIAL - filet mignon cut, cloaked in a port wine reduction sauce with mushroom and leeks. It was indeed a prime cut, tender and GOOD.
Both entrees were accompanied by mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and sauteed spinach. Again, I was surprised to find everything well prepared - not overly done, too buttery or lacking flavor. It wasn't "novel" in any sense, but pretty gratifying.
Both of us ordered the tiramisu. Um, Yum yUm and yuM. I demolished mine.
We lucked out with meter parking out front, but it wasn't too crowded for a weekend evening.
Sea Bass Italian Recipe : Oven | Sea Bass In Oven With Side Dish | Branzino Al Forno Con Verdure |4k
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Sea Bass Fish, Salt , Rosemary, Garlic , black Pepper , Sage Leaves
Potatoes, Carrot, Green Beans, Limon, Olive Oil Extra
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- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped capers
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Four 1- to 1 1/4-pound whole branzino or striped bass, scaled and gutted
- 1 lemon, sliced into 8 rounds
- 4 large rosemary sprigs
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, mix the butter with the capers, lemon juice and parsley and season with salt. Keep at room temperature.
Season the branzino cavities with salt and stuff 2 lemon rounds and 1 rosemary sprig in each. Season the fish with salt.
In a large, nonstick, ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add 2 of the branzino and cook over high heat until the skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 stuffed branzino. Roast the fish in the oven for about 10 minutes, until just cooked through.
Serve whole or filleted, passing the caper butter at the table.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add ziti. Cook the ziti until just al dente, about 10-12 minutes, then drain.
Meanwhile, bring the marinara sauce to simmer in a large skillet. Stir in the ricotta and basil leaves.
Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 10- by 15-inch baking dish. Layer half of the ziti on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cubes and half of the provolone. Pour 2 cups of the sauce over the cheese, and spread in an even layer. Top with the rest of the pasta, and spread 2 cups sauce over that layer of pasta. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses, and dollop with the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce.
Place the dish in the oven and bake, uncovered, until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting. (If you want to assemble this ahead of time, bake for 15 minutes covered with foil, then, when ready to serve, uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes.)
Oven Roasted Whole Branzino recipe that has been stuffed with capers, garlic, and mini cherry tomatoes. This is a perfect recipe for a weeknight meal, or when you want a fancy looking dish with minimum effort. We love whole roasted fish in our family, and this Oven Roasted Whole Branzino recipe is a favorite of ours. Firstly, it&rsquos so easy to make and it always turns out delicious.
Also, this is a one-pan meal, stuffed fish that sits on a bed of baked white and sweet potatoes. This is a hearty meal, that will leave everyone satisfied.
While you want to cook it for your family or to you impress your guests, it will sure be a success with the fish lovers. This is a healthy meal, that also taste good and will keep you full for hours. Similarly, the capers add a little bitter taste that we love. In addition, the cherry tomatoes get soft and juicy, and the garlic adds such a nice flavor. We loved the combination of sweet and white potatoes. I recommend serving the fish with fresh lemon, microgreens, some fresh basil and an arugula salad on the side.
Why You&rsquoll Love This Oven Roasted Whole Branzino:
- Firstly, it&rsquos very easy to make, and perfect for quick and nutritious weeknight meals.
- Also, the meal is packed with lean protein and veggies.
- The fish tastes fresh and delicious with minimum prep work involved.
- In addition, minimum dishes to clean, you just need two baking pans.
Oven Roasted Branzino Recipe Tips:
- To make the cooking process even easier, ask for fish to be cleaned. Also, discard the head and tail when buying it, if you prefer.
- When shopping for fresh branzino, make sure it does not have a strong odor. Also, the eyes should be bright and clear, moist skin and shiny scales, to ensure you are getting the freshest fish.
- The marinade in this recipe can be used either if you have a whole fish, fish filets or fish steaks.
- In addition, marinade the fish a few hours in advance, it will taste a hundred times better.
- I prefer to use fresh fish over frozen. However, frozen fish that has been thawed will work as well in this recipe.
- Also, using fresh produce is key, fresh lemon juice, grape tomatoes etc, and don&rsquot skip the capers!
- Lastly, make sure you don&rsquot over-bake the fish. You want it juicy not dry, once the meat is white and tender it is ready to serve.
Is it ok to eat the Branzino skin?
Yes, you can and actually the Branzino skin is full of healthy fats! I prefer to keep the skin on the fish when I cook it, as it helps keeping the fish moist while cooking.
What wine pairs well with Branzino?
You could pick from Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir as these wines have good acidity, which you definitely need to cut through the oiliness of the fish.
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS I USED TO MAKE THE HEALTHY OVEN Branzino: