Last night’s dinner was an ode to my childhood. Growing up, I hated cod. I always thought of it as the fishy fish, you know the fish that really smells like fish? As an adult, I love cooking with it, so many possibilities!
For dinner, I decided to go with a very traditional dish, la cipollata. This italian term translates to “made with onions” and often refers to sautéed onions cooked in a tomato sauce/broth. This was a very peasant dish, and my parents having grown up as peasants in a small medieval town (yes they were still living in a feudal system post WWII) this dish was served often, but usually with eggs.
La cipollata normally calls for white onions, but I had red onions instead and quite frankly, they have more health benefits. Onions are great for cholesterol, are full of anti-oxidants, and it’s a great anti-inflammatory! The beauty about this dish is that when the onions are slowly cooking all the water it produces that contains all those nutrients remain in the dish, meaning you won’t lose out!
The recipe is quite simple, but takes about an hour as you want to simmer the onions on low for quite some time. Then add some crushed tomatoes (we have ours jarred from the summer) and it’s just an incredible flavour palette.
The cod is usually sautéed in a non-stick pan to with little to no oil, just to dry out the fish a little get it nice and firm and then added to the onion and sauce mixture.
Cipollata with Fresh Cod
- 3-4 pieces of fresh cod (pacific is better sustained)
- 3 large red onions, coarsely chopped.
- 1 celerey stock, chopped.
- 1 half litre jar of crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- a tablespoon of olive oil
- a pinch of dried oregano
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced.
- In a pan on medium heat, add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the garlic and onions.
- After a few minutes, add the celery.
- Once the onions start to shrivel a bit (about 10 minutes) reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Allow the onions to cook about 45 minutes to an hour on low.
- Meanwhile, in another pan, on medium heat, add the other half tablespoon of olive oil into the pan but spread it around allowing it to coat the pan (I usually do this with my fingers before the pan gets hot)
- Add salt, pepper and dried oregano.
- Add the cod and allow it to sauté on medium low for about 3-5 minutes on each side. The cod should be a firm texture.
- At the 30 minute mark, add the crushed tomatoes to the onions and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the cod and keep the dish on low for another 10 minutes.
- Serve over a bed of rice or eat it on its own.