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Fish Poached in Tomato-Garlic Broth (Pesce all'Acqua Pazza)

4 Servings

45 minutes

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There are many versions of pesce all’acqua pazza, or “fish in crazy water,” but all involve poaching or simmering fish in a tomato broth or sauce. For our version, anchovies, black olives and capers bring bold, punchy flavor to mild-flavored fillets. Though this recipe calls for cod, any firm, meaty, white-fleshed fish would work. Be sure to have some crusty bread for serving—or even better, toast some baguette slices, then rub them with garlic and brush them with olive oil.




Don't worry if the cod at the grocery store is sold as a single fillet. Cut the fillet into as many pieces of a similar thickness as you need for even cooking—it may be as many as five or six—and if some pieces are very thin, fold them in half or thirds to approximate the thickness of the thicker pieces. When cooking the fish, check it frequently for doneness and remove the pieces as they finish.

45 minutes


  • 4

    6- to 8-ounce skinless cod fillets

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Dennis D.
March 9, 2023
Fantastic fish recipe!
Enjoyed it thoroughly.
Sarah S.

Delicious! I forgot to add the basil, so I’ll have to try it again sometime.

audrey g.

Made this before with all ingredients; now Covid substitute: we didn't have fresh grape tomatoes; used canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Saved some time & still delicious!

Kathryn W.

this was fantastic! I too went without the basil, I didn't realize my basil had fizzled out in my garden. It was still delicious!

Dennis Alden D.

I thought the Kalamata Olives and capers would overwhelm the cod, but it turned out very good.

Pamela A.

Made this last night and it was so delicious! I cook for one, but I only halved the recipe when it came to the sauce ingredients. After I served out my meal, I cooked the sauce down a little further and used it on garlic Ciabatta toast this morning - excellent bruschetta! I highly recommend this recipe.