Seabream in “Crazy Water”Orata all’acqua Pazza

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

You’ve got to love this recipe – easy, quick, simple and clean taste – no fussing around.

My husband and I, we are seafood lovers. Lately we are also into Italian cooking. We went to Venice in 2014 and ate plenty of seafood. Italian cooking is so simplistic, focusing on the good quality produce and allowing the produce to shine through.

I saw a video of this Seabream in Crazy Water cooked by Gennaro Contaldo and wondered what the ‘Crazy Water’ is all about. It is just water…but full of flavours from the simple ingredients you normally store at home. Not surprisingly, Pesce/Orata all’Acqua Pazza (Pesce is fish, and Orata is Seabream in Italian language) is a popular dish.

Pesce all'Acqua Pazza

Seabream in ‘Crazy Water’


4 tablespoon of olive oil
2 whole seabream (or seabass)
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
400g small tomatoes, halved
100ml water, approximately
Small handful of flat leaf parsley

Serves 2


  1. Start by poaching the pears. Poach the pears by placing the sugar and spices in a saucepan with 200ml of water and set over a medium heat.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Carefully slip the fish into the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes until starting to brown. Season with salt.
  3. Flip over and cook for another 4-5 minutes on this side.
  4. Scatter the garlic and chilli around the fish and let is sizzle for about 1 minute.
  5. Then scatter over the tomatoes. Pour the water and let it bubble for 1 minute.
  6. Scatter the parsley on top, put the lid on and let the fish simmer for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Adjust the water to your liking as – I added more water as I wanted to serve this dish with bread.

Serve the fish on a plate with the sauce/broth with warm ciabatta bread on the side to soak all the juicy sweet spicy broth.

– Use super-ripe tomatoes in this Italian fish recipe to add extra sweetness to the spicy broth

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