© David Loftus
baked white fish with olives and a simple tomato sauce
The most important thing to remember with this recipe is to buy good-quality fish from your local fishmonger or supermarket. The recipe Ive given you here can be used with all sorts of dishes Ive shown you how to tweak it to go with fish, but you can try using it with anything from pasta to grilled chicken. If you want to save some time, double the quantities and freeze half of the sauce (it will keep for a couple of months), or pop it in the fridge for up to a week.
To make your sauce:
1. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Pick the basil leaves and put aside, finely slice the stalks.
2. Add a good couple of lugs of olive oil to a large pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and basil stalks. Pierce the chilli once with a knife so it doesnt explode when frying, and add to the pan. Fry gently until the garlic is soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the tins of tomato and season lightly with the salt and pepper. Gently simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the chilli. Break and mush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Season the sauce really carefully with more salt and pepper, if needed, and add a tiny swig of red wine vinegar to give it a little twang.
To prepare and cook your fish:
4. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas7.
5. Pour your tomato sauce into a roasting tray (about 20cm x 30cm). Season the fish fillets on both sides with a little salt and pepper, then place on top of the sauce. Squash the olives, using the base of a jar or something heavy, and remove the stones. Sprinkle the olives and capers over the fish. Scatter the reserved basil leaves over the fish.
6. Cook in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through (check by cutting into the thickest part of one or two of the fillets; they should be pearly white and not transparent). Lovely served with new potatoes and a green salad.
3 cloves of garlic
a small bunch of fresh basil
1 fresh red chilli
2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
red wine vinegar
4x 150g white fish fillets such as coley, whiting or pollock, skin off and bones removed
a handful of black olives, stone in
1 tablespoon capers, drained