Pesciolini in Scapece


How could something this simple taste so good? Typical Roman home cooking, this is a simple, rustic and incredibly savory dish that’s great on bread. It takes a day to marinade, but when if you make it the night before you’ll have yourself one AMAZING lunch!

Pesciolini in Scapece:
Marinated Fish with Vinegar and Mint
From Mario Batali’s Molto Mario

4 to 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1-2 cup of white wine vinegar. Start with one cup and if it cooks down too much, add more!
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 to 2 ½ pounds small fish such as sardines or smelts, cleaned, scaled and heads removed.


In a small sauce pan, combine the garlic, mint and vinegar. Bring just to a boil over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to below a simmer. After several minutes, take off the heat and leave the aromatics to steep in the vinegar.

Spread the flour on a plate and dredge the fish lightly through it.

In a 10-12 inch sauté pan, heat ½ cup olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the fish in batches and cook, turning once until golden brown and just cooked through.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Discard oil and wipe out the pan. Add the remaining ½ cup oil to the pan and set over a very low heat to warm. Be careful! You are just WARMING the oil—not getting it hot!

Strain the vinegar into a small bowl, reserving the garlic and mint. Layer the fish in a glass or ceramic dish just large enough to hold them. Distribute the reserved garlic and mint over them. Combine the warm vinegar and warmed oil and pour over the fish.

Cover the dish and refrigerate for 2-3 days. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

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Brooke Burton nominated for best food writing

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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.

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