Acqua Pazza from Cookbook (Cod Stewed in Tomato Sauce)

Acqua Pazza (Serves 4)

This ONE pot recipe is a classic Neapolitan recipe. I make mine with fresh cod and it is SO easy and delicious.  In Italian, “Acqua Pazza” means crazy water. Apparently the dish was originally made by poaching fresh seafood in sea water and dates back to the middle ages. This recipe’s ingredients have evolved over time to include things like tomatoes, wine and capers. It is still considered “cucina povera (poor kitchen)” because it is relatively inexpensive to make.  Trust me when I say this dish will have you going a little crazy because of how good it tastes.  Oh and bread is definitely needed for dipping.  


3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Garlic Cloves, Sliced Thinly 

2 Small Shallots (about 4oz.), Sliced Thinly 

1 Fennel Bulb (about 1.5lbs), Sliced Thinly

¼ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Pepper

½ Cup Dry White Wine – I use Pinot Grigio

2 ½ Cups Fresh Cherry Tomatoes (about 16oz)

2 Cups Canned Whole Tomatoes, Crush in a bowl by hand

1 Cup Water

3 tbsp. Non Pariel Capers

2.5 lbs. Of Fresh Cod 

2 tbsp. Fresh Chopped Parsley


Season your fish on both sides with a little salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan and add the oil and the garlic.  Sautee for a few minutes until the garlic begins to cook and add in the shallots and fennel.  Season with the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or so until the fennel begins to soften.  Then add in your wine.  Use a wooden sponge to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until the wine reduces by half.  Next add in the cherry tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, water and capers and combine. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes and add in your cod pieces and sprinkle in parsley.  Cook the fish for about 20 minutes.  You want the fish to be cooked through, so if you have a thicker piece of fish you might have to cook a few minutes longer.

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