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If you’re just starting out learning how to cook seafood, it can be kind of a challenge to come up with something other than fish with olive oil or butter with lemon wedges and maybe some fresh herbs. That’s a totally delicious meal, no doubt, but if you’re ready to start branching out, Giada De Laurentiis has got the recipe for you. She pairs flaky, moist branzino filets that have crispy skin with a bold puttanesca sauce that you can make in the blender in minutes, and even better? If you can’t find branzino, the sauce pairs beautifully with other white fish like cod and halibut, and it’s even delicious with shrimp and chicken, too.
This recipe is very Italian. In fact, it was even featured on an episode of “Giada in Italy,” one of our favorite food and travel shows. It reminds us of the recipes in “Giada’s Italy,” too.
The star of the show is De Laurentiis’ punchy puttanesca sauce. It’s a blend of roasted red pepper, tomato sauce, colatura di alici
(Italian fish sauce — you can use regular fish sauce, anchovy paste, or chopped anchovies if that’s what you have), capers, olives, and garlic. Once that’s pureed in the blender, you’ve got a salty, sweet, savory sauce that pairs with pretty much any protein.
Next comes the fish. De Laurentiis uses skin-on branzino filets, crisping them up skin-side down in a nonstick skillet in olive oil. The fish only takes a few minutes to cook.
Pair the fish filets with the puttanesca sauce, and you’ve got an easy but flavorful dinner that tastes like more than the sum of its parts.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls