Red Snapper alla Ligure
I realize that I have posted this recipe before, but this is my favorite way to prepare whole fish and since I finally found some beautiful whole fish in this city by the sea, I took it as an opportunity to make pesce alla ligure.
Since these babies are so gorgeous, I thought that it would be cruel to keep the pictures from everyone, so I am posting this recipe again, it will just make it easier to find in the future!
I used red potatoes because I love their color and their waxiness, the pink of the potatoes and the fish were beautiful together. The snapper was outstanding, my husband was jumping for joy when he was cleaning it and then in his mouth.
My mother-in-law often prepares a sauce to drizzle over the cleaned fish, with olive oil, lemon and parsley. I love this, but when a fish is this fresh it tastes great on its own, without even a lemon drizzled on top.
Red Snapper alla Ligure
- 2 medium-sized red snapper, cleaned and scaled (you can use any whole fish for this dish)
- 4 large red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch quarter pieces
- 1 cup of pachino (cherry) tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olive taggiasche (you can use any brined black olives for this)
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- around 10 cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole
- large bunch of flat parsley
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350°.
I generally don’t peel red potatoes and left the skins on, they are so thin and not too dirty, but peel them if you prefer. Cut the potato lengthwise into 4 quarters and then cut across into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut tomatoes into quarters and toss together with potatoes, olives, pine nuts, garlic (about 6 whole cloves), olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Stuff 2 cloves of garlic in the cavity of each fish along with the parsley leaves, add a pinch of salt and drizzle about a tsp of olive oil inside the cavity. Place fish in the middle of roasting pan and drizzle olive oil on top (I tend to use parchment paper to avoid the mess and to keep my roasting pan from smelling like fish).
Spread the potato mix evenly around the fish and place in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. About half way through the cooking time turn the potatoes so that they will brown on both sides. Bake until the meat is white and flaky and the potatoes are browned and cooked through.
When I make this for a lot of people and there isn’t room on the pan for my potatoes, I will roast the potatoes in a separate pan and will put them on the bottom rack making sure to turn them more frequently so that they don’t burn.
Clean the fish on a separate plate and in a separate serving bowl toss the potatoes with chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately.