Branzino Lesso alla Romagnola

Romagnola-Style Poached Sea Bass


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

As with all fish dishes, the real key to success is the absolute freshness of the fish, so that it can be cooked, dressed and served as simply as possible. You an use this simple method for other whole fish, such as a bream, or even freshwater fish, such as trout. If you eat fish regularly, it is worth buying a fish kettle.


  • 1 sea bass, about 1.2 kg/ lb, scaled and cleaned
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 fresh parsley sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup Trebbiano wine
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • olive oil, lemon juice, lemon wedges and chopped parsley, to serve


  1. Wash the fish several times in cold running water and dry it inside and out. Season the fish on the inside with salt and ground black pepper.
  2. Put the onion, celery, carrot, parsley sprig and bay leaf in a fish kettle with the wine and vinegar. Bring to the boil. Lay the seasoned fish in the fish kettle and return it to the boil, covered.

  3. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for about 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through: the fish is perfectly cooked when the eyes become opaque.
  4. Remove the fish from the fish kettle and fillet it carefully. Serve the fillets drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, garnished with chopped parsley and with lemon wedges on the side.