crazy wine fish

When we were vacationing in Tulum, we happened to venture a popular Italian restaurant on the beach. The waiters were all Italian, the menu was in Italian, and basically my Spanglo-Italian speaking heart (yes… ask me about how I spent my first day visiting Italy back in 2001 speaking Spanish) was whisked back to Rome and Tuscany. But what really moved me that night in Mexico was the “Pesce all’Acqua Pazza” – or Red Snapper cooked in “crazy” sea water. It was insanely good, and suddenly my desire to consume cooked fish was amped back to childhood proportions.

This past weekend, I stocked up on some vacuum sealed & frozen white fish (mahi mahi, ono and tilapia), and with a desire to incorporate fish back into the diet at least once a week… I hunted down a recipe for my yummy Italian pesce, sent Miss L out to pick the last of the summer’s tomatoes and this was the result… enjoy!

crazy wine fish

Serves: 2 people

[adapted from a recipe for “Fish in ‘Acqua Pazza’” from Bon Appetit, May 1995]



2 fish fillets (red snapper, tilapia, mahi mahi)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon


1. Prepare your wine, salt & pepper, tomatoes and olive oil.


2. Place the fillets in a nonstick skillet in one layer. Layer all the ingredients in the order above. First dump in the wine. Then sprinkle the fish with half of the salt and pepper mixture. Then layer the tomatoes over the fish, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.


3. Turn on the heat to medium-high and wait for it to boil. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer it for 12-15 minutes.


4. Remove the fish from the skillet, and cook down the remaining sauce by boiling it for 5-10 minutes. Cover the fish with the sauce, serve with your favorite grain (like the couscous above) or veggie and enjoy!

If you couldn’t tell, this is such a simple meal preparation that I’m sure it’ll be moved into the rotation more frequently. Even Miss L asked to “try try” some of it… and liked it! Tilapia is so mild that it would work great, and the Mahi was yummy as well.