Pesce Arrosto

Baked Fish on a Bed of Rosemary Potatoes and Garlic

I really love this way of cooking fish. I can never decide which is more delicious, the potatoes or the fish itself! A bream, grouper, silver mullet, or other whole, firm fish is best, but any other kind of fish, filleted or whole, will also work quite well. You can add some thin slices of fennel to the potato base, or pile slices of thickly sliced red onion on top of the potatoes if you desire. If you have a handful of olives, you can also scatter them among the potatoes.


  • 1 whole fish such as porgy, grouper, trout or bream, weighing about lb, gutted and scaled
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced to ½ in thickness
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash the fish thoroughly inside and out and pat dry on paper towels.
  2. Place the potato slices in a large ovenproof dish and pour about three quarters of the olive oil over them. Season generously with salt and pepper and add the garlic and rosemary.
  3. Toss the potatoes with the other ingredients until they are coated in the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.
  4. Rub the remaining olive oil over the fish, both inside and out, then season the fish with salt and pepper inside and out. Lay the fish on top of the potatoes.
  5. Bake in the oven until the potatoes and the fish are cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. If necessary, baste the fish with a little water or dry white wine during the cooking process.
  6. Transfer the fish to a flat platter and place the potatoes in a serving bowl, then serve.

“One of the nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

Luciano Pavaroti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story