Silvia marinates her whole snapper in an olive and caper paste and then bakes it on a vibrant bed of cherry tomatoes and sliced chillies, served with crisp lemon slices.






Skill level

Average: 3 (31 votes)


  • 4-5 chillies (choose whichever you prefer, according to how you like it)
  • 4 tbsp capers in salt, well washed
  • a few handfuls of black pitted olives (or as many as you like)
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 1 large whole snapper, about 1.6 kg, scaled and gutted
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • salt flakes, to taste


Cook's notes

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.


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2. Place the chilllies, capers, olives, parsley and garlic in a food processor and whiz into a paste. Gradually add half the extra virgin olive oil and half the wine to loosen it.

3. Score the snapper a few times on each side. Place it onto the prepared tray, then spread the paste on both sides, reserving a little for serving. Place the thinly sliced lemon in and around the snapper, season with salt and drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil and wine. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through.

4. Serve the fish with a drizzle of the leftover chilli paste and the crispy lemon slices on the side.



Silvia Colloca shares her Italian family secrets in the brand-new second-season of Cook like an Italian.