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Livorno-style red mullet


50 minutes






4 red mullet
110g fine semolina
2 round ripe tomatoes
sunflower oil

For the sauce
275g canned whole peeled tomatoes
240ml vegetable stock
1 clove of garlic
1/3 glass of white wine
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
a few leaves of basil
salt and pepper, to taste


Scale the red mullets and cut off the heads. Remove the innards with a small sharp knife. Fillet the fish starting from the head and stopping half an inch from the tail, taking care not to separate the two fillets. Remove the central bone still attached to the tail, using scissors to cut it off, and remove the pin bones with tweezers. Dry with a paper towel. Keep the head and fish bones on one side for the sauce.

Dip the red mullet fillets in the semolina and fry in sunflower oil at 180c until they are golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels and salt immediately.

Blanch the fresh tomatoes in boiling salted water, cool in iced water, peel, quarter, deseed, and cut into cubes. Put them in a bowl and dress with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley.

For the sauce
Crush the canned whole peeled tomatoes with a fork.

Wash the bones and heads under plenty of running water, remove the gills, and drain.

In a saucepan, sauté the garlic and parsley stalks in a little extra virgin olive oil, add the bones and heads, and toast until they fall apart.

Add the white wine and let it evaporate, then filter the stock to eliminate all the bones and heads of the red mullet.  

Combine the filtered fish stock, vegetable stock, and crushed tomatoes. Add the basil leaving aside a few leaves for the garnish. Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes.

To serve
Pour a ladle of sauce into each bowl, then place the red mullet fillets on top. Spoon the cubed fresh tomatoes on top of the dish and garnish with basil.

Livorno-style red mullet

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