Aqua Pazza means "crazy water" which makes this a really fun sounding recipe. Apparently the dish comes from southern Italian fishermen cooking their fish for lunch in the little they had; sea water and a few herbs, possibly a tomato or two. It was made famous around the Capri area in the 50s and 60s by visiting tourists wanting a taste of something authentic.
Schwartz, the herb and seasoning company got in touch with me about creating a recipe and this was one of the first dishes to come to mind as it's ALL about the herbs and seasoning. Oregano is one of the most important Italian herbs and I always have a jar of the dried herb in my larder. In addition, you can use most Mediterranean flavours although I always like an acidic edge that either capers or olives bring. Aqua Pazza is a really gorgeous, light and fragrant dish for pretty much any white fish and really quick for a mid-week meal.
2 Fillets of firm white fish (sea bass or bream is perfect) or a whole prepared fish
3 Tbs olive oil
A few sprigs of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Half tsp of Schwartz dried oregano
2 Garlic cloves, peeled
Half a celery stick, chopped
8-10 cherry tomatoes or two ripe chopped tomatoes
Small handful of capers or olives
A little fresh red chilli, sliced
Half a glass of water
Half a glass of white wine
To serve: Sliced lemon and good bread
Preheat the oven to 200C
In an ovenproof dish which will fit the fish in a single level, pour in the olive oil then the fish. Arrange the remaining ingredients around the fish (if using a whole fish then stuff the cavity with some of the parsley too) and pour in the water and wine. The liquid should come to about halfway up the fish, and never cover the fish entirely. Season well.
Bake in the over for about 20 minutes until the fish is cooked, it may need a little longer if the fish is whole.
Serve with slices of good crusty bread and lemon slices.
This post was written in collaboration with Schwartz. Thanks for supporting the brands that support The Graphic Foodie.