Pagrus “all-acqua pazza”

By Cucina Caruso

Serves 2


700-800 gr Pagrus (either one large or two smaller fresh, Greek aquaculture fish)
200 gr multicolored cherry tomatoes
4-6 cloves of garlic
½ tsp chili flakes
50 ml virgin olive oil
80 ml white wine
300 ml boiling water
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper


1. Prepare your ingredients:

Carefully and meticulously scale and gut the fish (if the fishmonger hasn’t already done so!). Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, boil the water in the kettle and peel the  garlic.

2. Poach the pagrus:

In a large frying pan the fits the fish, place the olive oil and gently sauté the garlic and chili flakes at a low to medium temperature so as to flavor the olive oil. Add the white wine, then the boiling water and salt & pepper.  Beware! If the oil is too hot when you add the wine and hot water, it will pop and splash you with burning hot droplets!

Place the fish in the pan.
If you are using fish that are smaller than 400gr each, you can add the tomatoes to the pan from the beginning. If you are using one larger fish, add the tomatoes to the pan halfway, after you have flipped the fish. Depending on the size of your fish, you will need to flip it over 5-8 minutes after placing it in the pan. It needs to cook just as long on the other side. Remove it and place it in a serving dish. Also remove the cherry tomatoes and add next to the fish on the dish. Turn up the heat to thicken the sauce.


The sauce is supposed to be on the thin side, so you may have to add some water before letting it boil (for 1 to 5 minutes depending on whether or not you have added water). When it is ready, add the finely chopped parsley and then pour it over the fish just before serving.


The dish is most impressive when the fish is served whole with the cherry tomatoes surrounding it and the thin sauce around it. However, you can always filet the fish and serve the filets directly on plates with tomatoes and sauce around them.