Striped Bass in tomato sauce over pasta was once a favorite around here, but for some reason, it had dropped out of the rotation. This year’s Striper bounty has been simply grilled or braised. But last night, I updated the tomato sauce recipe a bit, and it has resumed its rightful place in the favorites file. Serves 2-3. Easily doubled.
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. Continue to cook for about a minute. Add two (15 oz) cans of diced tomatoes with the juice. 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, a sprinkle of sugar, and some shredded fresh basil. If you don’t have fresh basil, a little dried basil and oregano works.
2. Rub some olive oil on about a pound of Striped Bass fillets; season 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 Panko 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 until the fish flakes. Timing depends on the thickness of the fish. Standard rule is ten minutes per inch of thickness.
4. Put a half pound of cooked pasta in a warm serving bowl; cover the pasta with the baked fish and tomato sauce.
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.
Any firm fleshed white fish (i.e. Halibut) works for this recipe.
Once the local tomatoes are ripe, this dish would be elevated by a fresh tomato and basil sauce, but canned tomatoes are handy and good.