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Sea Bass with Sicilian Cherry Tomato Sauce

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

A riff on the classic Southern Italian puttanesca with this Sicilian Cherry Tomato Sauce, here made with fresh tomatoes. The recipe calls for wild sea bass, but I like to make it with almost any fish, especially rich and oily ones like mackerel, packed with powerful anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids. Here it is served with couscous because that's the girl's favourite, but personally, I prefer quinoa for the added protein. (quinoa has an excellent amino acid profile, containing all nine essential amino acids).

Serves 2

Time: 25 mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 50g anchovy fillets, drained and minced

  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup pitted and coarsely chopped black olives

  • 2 tablespoons drained and chopped capers

  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

  • 450g cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Extra-virgin olive oil for oiling pan and brushing fillets

  • 2 wild sea bass fillets

  • Sea salt and pepper

  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for serving


  1. To make the sauce: Heat the oil and anchovies in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the anchovies are sizzling and broken down into a paste, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown around the edges, about 1 minute.

  3. Stir in olives, capers, and red pepper flakes - cook until heated through, 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes. Set the sauce aside.

  6. Oil a large ridged grilling pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Brush the sea bass on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, skin side down, until the underside is seared with grill marks, about 3 minutes. Flip the fresh fish over and cook until the other side is seared and the flesh is opaque when pierced in the centre with the tip of a small sharp knife, about 3 minutes more.

  7. Transfer each fillet to a dinner plate and top with a spoonful of the sauce.

  8. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Cous cous

  • 120g couscous

  • 120ml kettle-hot water or boiling vegetable stock

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  1. Tip the couscous into a heatproof bowl and pour over the water or stock.

  2. Cover with cling film or a lid and leave for 5-10 mins until the couscous is soft.

  3. Fluff the couscous with a fork, drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper if you like. The couscous is now ready.

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