Many people I meet ask me, “Why don’t you give us recipes for sole?” My answer is that no flatfish from either the Atlantic or Pacific Coast resembles in consistency and flavor the sole of my native Adriatic. I test all the recipes I work with using American ingredients, and I have set down only those that, even if they do not duplicate exactly, at least strongly evoke recognizably Italian flavor.
Sole is one of the ingredients that satisfies me least. In this book I have included a recipe for marinated sole fillets—Sfogi in Saor—because at its origin it is a dish that could be prepared with fish of different kinds; it is valid, therefore, with gray sole, lemon sole, rex, petrale, flounder, whatever is available. The same is true of this sauce that, in Italy, we might do with several varieties of white-fleshed fish. You can experiment with your own substitute for sole, if you like.
The flavor base is a sauce of olive oil, onion, garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and hot pepper. Its taste should be as bright and fresh as possible; therefore the cooking times must be very brief. The sole, because it is cut into thin strips, needs very little cooking and should be put in only when the pasta is almost done.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.