Roast Sea Bass

Spigola Arrosto alla Brace

I got this simple recipe from Alessandro Manconi who, with his father, uncles and brothers, runs the delightful seashore restaurant called Lo Scoglio, just outside Cagliari in Sardinia. The fresh flavour of the fish remains completely unadulterated when you prepare it so simply.


  • 1 sea bass, weighing about lb (1.5 kg), gutted, washed and patted dry or 2 sea bass, weighing about 1½– lb (750–900 g) each
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 tablespons olive oil


Ideally, cook the bass on a barbecue, over an even and quite gentle heat. Failing this, grill it under a medium grill for about 8 minutes on either side, depending upon how thick the fish is.

While the fish is cooking, prepare the dressing. Mix the water and salt together. Crush the chopped garlic and stir this into the salted water. Add the bay leaf, rosemary and oil and stir carefully, pressing the rosemary and bay leaf hard with a spoon to release their flavour into the water. When the fish is cooked, arrange it carefully on a warmed platter and pour the dressing all over it before serving.