Red mullet is a very delicate fish and so must be handled gently so as not to break them.
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 stalk celery
2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
60ml extra virgin olive oil
500g ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 red mullet about 100 g each, scaled and cleaned
45 ml dry white wine
10 small basil leaves finely chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Make a soffritto by finely chopping together the garlic, celery and the parsley. Heat the oil in a frying pan just large enough to hold the fish and sauté the soffritto gently for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook gently for another 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
Pat the red mullets dry with paper towels and layer them into the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the white wine and cook gently for another 10 minutes spooning as much of the sauce as possible over the top of the fish from time to time.
Serve with a generous sprinkle of chopped basil.
Recipe provided by Lucio Galletto