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Sicilian Tomato Pesto Fish Sauce with Spaghetti

Heady aromas emanate from this satisfying, rustic, one-dish pasta meal inspired by southern Italy. White fish filets brushed with sun-dried tomato pesto simmer over aromatics in a wine-scented fish stock. Finally, they almost melt into a sauce, and spaghetti, olives, capers, and fresh basil are stirred in. Add grated Parmesan if you like. (We do.)


4 to 6
  • 3/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 large cloves garlic, 1 clove left whole, 3 minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional cheese to sprinkle on finished dish
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless white fish filets, pinbones removed
  • 1 1/2 ounces Fumet de Poisson Gold® dissolved in 2 cups hot water
  • 1 pound thick spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup small capers, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves


  1. Combine the tomatoes and their oil, 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a food processor or electric blender and purée until almost smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and minced garlic and cook until very soft, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the wine and cook over high heat until the liquid has almost evaporated.
  3. Season the fish liberally with salt and pepper. Lay the filets over the vegetables in the pan, spread the tomato pesto over them, pour the diluted Fumet de Poisson Gold® into the pan, and gently simmer until the fish easily flakes, about 20 minutes, breaking it into small pieces with a fork.
  4. While the fish simmers, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water until al dente, then drain it, and return it to the pot.
  5. Pour the fish sauce over the pasta. Add the olives, capers, and basil, and stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

Additional Tips

You can use any flaky white fish to make this dish.

Wine Pairing: dry Rosé or New Zealnd Sauvignon Blanc

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Classic French Stocks and Sauces