Cod With Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca sauce is a simple combination of tomatoes, white wine, olives, capers, garlic, onion and olive oil - perfect for topping a mild, flaky fish like cod. Skip the pasta and serve this dish with toasted ciabatta bread, topped with garlic-butter, parsley and cheese and a side of sautéed spinach. This recipe is adapted from The Barcelona Cookbook (see review below).

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb cod fillet
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives (Nicoise or Calamata)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 14-ounces Italian plum tomatoes, partially drained
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the fish just done. Time will depend on the thickness of the fillet.

While the fish cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add about 2/3 of the chopped garlic and continue cooking until softened and fragrant. Add the olives and capers and cook for 2 more minutes until heated through.

Add the wine and tomatoes. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, breaking the tomatoes up as they cook, until the sauce has thickened and the excess liquid has evaporated. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and keep warm.

If the fish is done at this point, remove from the oven and keep warm.

Wipe out the pan and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the remaining chopped garlic and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the spinach and cook for a minute or two, tossing continually for even cooking. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon the sauce onto serving plates, top with the spinach and then the fish. Drizzle with a bit more sauce and serve.

The Barcelona Cookbook

by Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz

Hardcover & Digital (224 pages) | Find on Amazon

The Barcelona Cookbook is a fabulous collection of Spanish-inspired, tapas-style recipes taken from the menu of Connecticut's award-winning Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bars. The recipes, 115 in all, use simple, fresh ingredients to produce dishes of extraordinary flavor.

The Barcelona Cookbook

Barcelona Restaurants' owners and co-authors, Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer have years of experience in the restaurant business and a spirited love of great food and wine.

Being true to the tapas experience, the authors begin the book with an extensive chapter on cocktails and wine that includes drink recipes, information on Spanish wines and suggestions for wine and food pairings.

Glossaries of Spanish cheeses and cured meats include varied serving suggestions for many of the individual items.

The tapas recipes are divided into individual chapters for both hot and cold dishes and include complete menu plans for hosting authentic tapas parties for different sized groups.

Here's a sampling of some of the marvelous recipes in The Barcelona Cookbook ~
  • Mussels on the Half Shell with Escabeche ~ wine steamed mussels, chilled and marinated in a mixture of garlic, sherry vinegar, thyme and vegetables
  • Chorizo with Sweet-and-Sour Figs ~ traditional Spanish smoked sausage served with spiced, pickled dried figs
  • Churrasco ~ grilled skirt steak served with spicy sweet potato wedges and cilantro chimichurri
  • Cranberry-Orange Biscotti with Manchego Cheese ~ biscotti made with fresh oranges and Grand Marnier, topped with Manchego cheese for serving