Sicilian-style bass

By Valeria Necchio

Baked fish with tomatoes and olives is an Italian favourite. The parchment cooking technique of this recipe, known in Italian as al cartoccio, encourages the bass to take on the character of the super-sweet datterini tomatoes and the mild and fruity taggiasche olives.
Serves 4


  • 4 bass fillets (about 150g each)
  • 250g datterini tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons taggiasche olives
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • Fine grain sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano (or marjoram)


Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.

In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with oil and season with a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

Cut four large squares of parchment paper. Place the fillets on top, skin-side down.

Distribute the cut tomatoes and scatter half a tablespoon of olives over each fillet. Place a sprig of oregano on top and finish with some grated lemon zest.

Fold the pieces of parchment to form four closed pockets (al cartoccio), tucking the edges underneath so seal them.

Bake for 10-13 minutes, until the fish is cooked through but still supple. Open the pockets to release the steam, and serve immediately with lemon slices.

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