Acqua Pazza

Cooking fish in Acqua Pazza, or “crazy water” is a great way to ensure you end up with a moist, tasty dish. This recipe was created after our recent trip to Italy, where the little tomatoes, or pomodorini are used in the sauce to cook the fish. We used halibut in this recipe, but you could use any meaty whitefish fillets.

Ingredients For Acqua Pazza

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Acqua Pazza

The easiest and best way to cook fish fillets.


  • 1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced
  • 1 Carrot, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Celery Stick, Finely Chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Teaspoon Thyme, Finely Chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Capers
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes (Or 1/2 Hot Red Pepper Finely Chopped)
  • 4 Meaty Fish Fillets (About 1 3/4 to 2 Pounds Total Weight)

To Garnish:

  • 1/4 Cup Fresh, Chopped Parsley


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a heavy, ovenproof pan, heat the oil.
  3. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and cook until it is tender.
  4. Add the wine, rosemary, thyme, seasonings, capers and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the fish fillets, and spoon some of the hot vegetables over them and then bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the fillets are completely cooked.
  6. Taste once more, and adjust seasonings if needed.
  7. Remove the rosemary sprig, serve the fillets in individual bowls, then add the fresh parsley to the tomatoes.
  8. Spoon a good helping of the tomato mixture into each bowl and serve with some good crusty bread to soak up the tasty juices.