Teresa’s Cod in Acqua Pazza Recipe

Prep Time Cook Time Serves
15m 25m 6

My Italian friend Teresa made this dish one night when we had two couples over for dinner. She explained what the recipe was. Fish, tomatoes, potatoes, beans…..seemed simple. It was delicious. Who knew such humble ingredients could produce such a scrumptious dish.

Oh, and the acqua pazza (“crazy water” in english) is apparently what Teresa and others would call this in Italian. Personally I just call it delicious.


  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 (6-ounce) cod fillets
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds boiled potatoes, for serving
  • 1 pound boiled green beans, for serving
  • crusty bread, for serving


Halve the cherry tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds inside and discard. Roughly chop the remaining tomato flesh. Combine the chopped tomatoes, 1 minced clove of garlic and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley in a small bowl.

Over a medium flame, heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan big enough to fit the fish in one layer. Peel and crush the remaining garlic clove and add to the oil. After a few minutes, remove the garlic clove and discard. Add the tomato mixture to the pan and fry for five minutes, stirring to ensure the tomatoes and garlic do not burn. Add the fish fillets and white wine. Simmer until most of the wine has reduced. Add enough water so that it reaches 1/4 to 1/2 way up the fish. Cover and turn the heat to low. Leave to cook for about 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and if there is still a lot of liquid in the pan, turn the heat up and simmer until you have your desired sauce consistency. You want the sauce to be liquid enough to spoon over the fish but not watery. Check the fish is cooked through.

Serve the fish over top of some boiled potatoes and green beans. Sprinkle over your remaining tablespoon of parsley. Make sure to spoon over the juices and tomatoes from the pan. I like to put any extra liquid from the pan into a dish and serve alongside the fish. The juices are so good you will want to add more to your potatoes or soak it up with some crusty bread.

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