PESCE OREGANATA….BAKED FISH TOPPED WITH SAVORY BREADCRUMBS AND HERBS

OREGANATA….An ItalianAmerican style of placing a savory breadcrumb topping over seafood or fish and then either broiling or baking it. Who hasn’t loved digging their teeth into a piping hot VONGOLE OREGANATA, those wonderful baked Clams Oreganata that are a quintessential ItalianAmerican restaurant starter? Fish is also given this treatment which all stems from various regional styles of topping a dish with a mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs, cheeses, olive oil, lemon. Each and every cook/chef/region has their way of doing this. In Napoletana it’s sometimes referred to as ARRIGANATA. The herbs are fresh parsley and dried Oregano (ORIGANO in Italian) and it’s the addition of the oregano that gives this dish it’s name. Accept no Oreganata without oregano in it. It’s just not right!! I can hear my mom right now saying Oregano…..she would pronounce it AHHH-RREGANA, clearly using her Napolitana-Lucana dialect. Any fish can be used in this dish but clearly different fish have different cooking times so always adjust to the type of fish you are using. In the picture is my favorite fish, Halibut. This was a piece of Wild Atlantic Halibut. Sidenote, the pasta on the side was simply garlic sauteed in extra virgin olive oil with whole Grape or Cherry Tomatoes softened in the hot oil, a little sea salt. then tossed with Spinach Linguine. Why Spinach Linguine? BECAUSE IT MAKES A COLORFUL PLATE!! Ok, that really wasn’t the reason even though it does, I had a box of Spinach Linguine in the pantry so I thought it would be PERFECT with the Halibut. Fresh fish matched with wine, olive oil and this topping are pure ItalianAmerican heaven. Let’s get into the kitchen now and create a beautiful meal without much hassle.

HALIBUT OREGANATA FOR 4

4 6 Ounce Halibut Filets

1 1/4 cup coarse PLAIN ITALIAN BREAD CRUMBS

2 TBS FINELY MINCED ITALIAN FLAT LEAF PARSLEY

1 TSP. CRUMBLED GOOD DRIED OREGANO

3 TBS. GRATED PECORINO ROMANO

2 CLOVES OF GARLIC MINCED FINELY

1/3 TSP SEA SALT

1/2 TSP PEPERONCINO (CRUSHED DRIED RED CHILES)

3 TBS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

1 1/2 TSP FINELY GRATED LEMON ZEST

SALT AND PEPPER FOR SEASONING THE FISH

1/8 CUP WHITE WINE

JUICE OF 2 LEMONS

2 TBS OLIVE OIL

Pat the fish filets dry with paper towels. Lightly Season with salt and pepper. Place on a plate. Pre Heat oven to 400 Degrees F. In a bowl mix the breadcrumbs, herbs, pecorino, salt, peperoncino, olive oil lemon zest. Blend together. Place a layer of the breadcrumb mixture evenly divided on all 4 filets. Place in a baking dish you’ve placed 1 tbs of Olive oil in , 1/2 the lemon juice, and the wine. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of the filets and place in the hot oven. Rule of thumb is 10 minutes of baking for every inch of fish. Best to use a thermometer to check the internal temp which shouldn’t be more than 120 degrees F. When the fish is done remove from the oven, baste with the pan juices and more lemon juice. That’s it. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it you’ll be baking all types of fish with this. Serve with rice or pasta or potatoes or a salad. Be creative. Happy Cooking!!

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