It’s striper season! If you’re fortunate enough to be catching them yourself, or have generous friends who share their bounty, you know how great fresh striped bass can be. A little olive oil, salt and pepper and a hot grill equals a really good meal. With a little more effort, you can produce an equally delicious alternative. This recipe will feed four to six people.
Striped Bass in Tomato Sauce on Pasta
1. Make a light tomato sauce by sauteing a diced medium onion in a little olive oil until it softens; add two cloves of minced garlic. Cook for about a minute. Add two (15 oz) cans of stewed (or diced) tomatoes with the juice and a third can drained. Break the tomatoes up a bit and let them simmer for about ten minutes. Add a few shakes of red pepper flakes, a little salt and pepper, and some shredded fresh basil.
2. Rub some olive oil on two pounds of striped bass fillets; season them with salt and pepper. Put the fillets in the center of a large Pyrex dish, leaving room on the sides for the tomato sauce. Pour the tomato sauce around the fish, but don’t cover it. Sprinkle bread crumbs on the fish. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the crumbs to help them brown.
3. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Depends on the thickness of the fish.
4. Put a pound of cooked pasta in a warm serving bowl; cover the pasta with the baked fish and tomato sauce. Conventional wisdom says that grated cheese doesn’t go with fish, but I like it with this dish. Serve it on the side, and let people decide for themselves.
Tip: I like to toss the hot pasta with a little olive oil and pesto before I put it in the bowl. Maybe even a little grated Parmesan. Just helps to bump up the overall flavor of the dish.