Italian tomato baked cod is a tasty and easy dish to cook. It can easily be made from store cupboard ingredients.
The recipe uses fish, olive oil and rosemary which are linked with a mediterranean diet and living longer.
I was reading the other day about a village on the West coast of Southern Italy where there are over 300 people who are over 100. The village has a population of around 2000 so this is a significant number. As well as living longer the population of this village appears to be free of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Currently scientists are studying the village to work out why so many people are living to this age.They believe it could be due to their healthy diet which is heavy in fish and olive oil. The herb rosemary may also play a part in their longevity, it is prevalent in the dishes they cook.
I always intend to eat more fish than I do. It is so easy to cook and really tasty and the health benefits make it worth adding more fish to your diet. It is easy to obtain frozen fillets and have them ready in your freezer for a quick and easy meal.
I had recently been sent some of the range of tomatoes produced by Cirio which were ideal for using in this recipe. Cicio tomatoes are produced in Italy and have been exported since 1856 when Cirio set up the business canning tomatoes. Tomatoes have always been a vital ingredient in Italian dishes and Cirio tomatoes are certainly full of flavour. I always think home grown tomatoes have much more flavour and Cirio tomatoes taste very much like home grown tomatoes in a can. They would make any recipe taste special and were perfect for the Italian tomato baked cod. I used the Cirio chopped tomatoes.
The dish is really easy to make, prepare the sauce in a pan, pour it over the cod and just bake in the oven. It could easily be prepared in advance and just popped in the oven when you want it. Fifteen minutes later you have a meal ready and on the table. It is perfect served with new potatoes or for an even simpler dish just cut up some crusty bread to eat with it.
I have lovely memories of being on holiday in France and sopping up left over sauce on a plate with French bread. This seems to be a continental habit. The sauce is often the best part of the meal and it seems a shame to leave it on the plate. Italian’s have even come up with a word for using a small piece of bread to mop up the sauce. It is called la scarpetta. Usually a slice of ciabatta bread is used, crusty on the outside but soft on the inside. Ideal for sopping up sauce. If you haven’t tried this you really must. The sauce of this Italian tomato baked cod was perfect for mopping up with bread. If you are a fan of olives you could also chop them up and add them to the sauce to add a more Italian flavour. My husband and son are not great olive lovers so I skipped the temptation to add them. I added a bit more black pepper instead.
Do you mop up the sauce on your plate using bread? You may also like this Mediterranean Fish Stew recipe which is another really quick and easy meal to make with fish. If you are a bit more ambitious then home made fish cakes are lovely.