Triglie alla Livornese

Red Mullet in the Style of Livorno


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

The ancient port city of Livorno - Leghorn in English - is renowned for two fish specialities. One of these is the dense fish stew or soup called cacciucco, the other is this recipe for cooking sweet red mullet. The smaller the mullet, the better the flavour, but they are quite bony, so some people prefer to use large fillets rather than the whole fish - although the purists will claim that the flavour is nowhere near as delicious. It is particularly tasty if the fish is freshly caught.


  • ½ onion
  • 12 small red mullet, scaled, cleaned and gutted
  • 30-45 ml/2-3 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
  • 75 ml/5 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 400 g/14 oz canned tomatoes, strained and chopped
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Finely chop the onion. Dry the fish with kitchen paper and coat them with flour.

  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the mullet for about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn the fish over carefully, without breaking them, then add the wine, chopped onion, garlic, bay leaf, parsley and a little salt and pepper.

  4. Shake the pan, then spoon the flavouring ingredients over the fish.
  5. Allow the alcohol from the wine to evaporate for 1-2 minutes, then add the canned tomatoes.
  6. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer the liquid gently for a further 5 minutes, until the fish is cooked. Serve immediately.