Aqua Pazza

4 servings
40 min

If you’re a fish lover and haven’t tried Aqua Pazza, you have to give this recipe a try! Aqua Pazza is one of those recipes typically made with fresh fish.

But when Covid hit, Hubs cut down on the number of trips he makes to the supermarket, so that meant less fresh food on a nightly basis.

Instead, we would buy a box of frozen fish from Costco which is so economical and will last for ages. We just separate it out into portions and pop it right back into the freezer until ready to use.

Did you know that you can also make Aqua Pazza by cooking fish from frozen too? When we’re in hurry to get dinner on the table, we just don’t bother to thaw it! A real time saver.

The sauce simmers for 10 minutes without the fish.

Then slide the frozen fish fillets into the sauce and cover for another 12 – 15 minutes.

In the meantime, we usually cook some rice to accompany this dish to soak up all the liquid. You can serve this with crusty bread instead if you’re not gluten free. Although gluten free bread has come a long way, it really doesn’t stand up to liquid. So serving this with bread doesn’t really appeal to us in the same way it’s gluten counterpart used to!

Since discovering this recipe on an episode of Giada De Laurentiis’ show, Giada in Italy, we’ve made it a variety of different white fishes. Any mild flavoured fish will work, like tilapia, cod, bass, grouper, haddock, catfish, and snapper.

Aqua Pazza translates to ‘crazy water’ because of the flavouring. However, you likely won’t find this dish overly spicy. The key ingredients; onion, fennel, garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, white wine, capers and parsley flavour the mild fish nicely.

My favourite part of the dish are the salty capers; I usually add a few more than called for!

In under 45 minutes, start to finish, dinner is on the table.

Get your cook on at Birdz of Feather and check out   The Unknown Chef for other easy recipes!

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 40 min
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1 bulb fennel halved and sliced thin
  • 1 red onion halved and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • One 14-ounce container of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup water (1 cup if cooking from fresh)
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 4 6- ounce filets of fresh or frozen white fish such as sole halibut etc. (skin removed)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, garlic, fennel, onion, and pepper flakes into the skillet. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Stir often, with a wooden spoon until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and stir. Add the tomatoes, water and capers. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle the filets with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slide the fish filets into the broth and cover with lid. Cook until the fish is firm and opaque all the way through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and spoon some of the sauce over the fish.
Sprinkle with parsley and drizzle on some olive oil if desired.
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