When I was a kid, my parents both worked late, but my dad was in charge of feeding my sister and me on weekdays, and fish puttanesca was one of his signature dishes. Years later, I asked him for the recipe for his intoxicating combination of garlicky tomato sauce, olives, and capers. I’ve updated it just a little, but the result is very much true to what I loved so much about it. And the best part is that all you need to do is throw the ingredients in a baking dish, cook it off, and serve with rice. Simple and delicious.
- 4 (9-ounce) white fish fillets (literally any fish fillet will work)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 1/2 cup pitted and roughly chopped kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Handful of fresh oregano leaves
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves, roughly chopped, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel.
- In a medium ovenproof frying pan set over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the oil is lightly smoking, add the garlic, 1 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes, the anchovies, and the shallot and fry until the garlic is golden and the anchovies are almost completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in the capers, olives, and wine and let everything simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sugar, and oregano and simmer for another 10 minutes, gently breaking the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to pop them open as they cook.
- Place the fish fillets in the pan, cover them with the tomato sauce, top with the slices of lemon, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the fish is fully cooked through. Before serving, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and the butter until it melts, thensprinkle with the parsley.