Branzino with Puttanesca

The star of this recipe is the easy Puttanesca sauce that you can make all in the food processor or blender. It's such a great combination of sweet, salty and a bit tangy. It's fantastic on virtually any fish - feel free to swap out the branzino for cod, halibut and beyond.

branzino with puttanesca sauce


Branzino with Puttanesca Sauce



Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes


Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Branzino with Puttanesca Sauce


    For the sauce:

  • 4 piquillo peppers or 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon colatura di alici (, or more, to taste*)
  • 2 tablespoons capers (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • For the fish:

  • 8 branzino filets with (skin on, scales and bones removed, or cod, halibut, or snapper)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Originally seen on Giada In Italy, Season 2. Episode: Culinary Renaissance.
  2. To the bowl of a food processor add the peppers, tomato paste, anchovy paste, capers, olive, garlic and salt. Puree until smooth scraping down the sides of the machine with a rubber spatula as needed. With the machine running add the water and the olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified and smooth. Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Dry the branzino filets well with paper towel. Score the skin of each filet in 3 spots with a sharp knife. Season evenly with the salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and continue to heat. Lay 4 of the filets skin side down in the pan and press gently to ensure that the whole surface of the skin is touching the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and you can see the fish is turning opaque at the edges. Flip the fish and cook for an additional 10 seconds on the flesh side. Remove to a plate, wipe out the pan and continue with the remaining oil and fish.
  4. Spread a some of the sauce on the bottom of each plate and shingle 2 filets of branzino on top. Drizzle with a little extra sauce if desired.
  5. *Cook',s Note: The colatura can also be substituted with anchovy paste, or chopped anchovies
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