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Whole sea bream cooked with fresh cherry tomatoes

This dish is very typical of all southern Italian coastal regions - freshly caught sea bream, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and garlic. It encompasses the taste of the sea and the flavours of the south. It is an extremely simple dish to prepare, and, provided you have the freshest ingredients and good quality extra virgin olive oil, you can’t go wrong! Serve with lots of good bread and a green salad.

Make it yourself 

4 x servings



  • 175ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 x whole sea bream, weighing approx. 500g each - ask your fishmonger to clean and scale them, but leave whole
  • 4 x garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 20 x cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • Salt
  • 400ml water


  1. In a large heavy-based frying pan, heat the olive oil over a fairly high heat. When hot, add the bream followed by the garlic, tomatoes, basil and salt. Add the water, turn down the heat slightly and cook the fish for seven minutes on each side. When you flip the fish over, you will know that side has been done, as the eye of the fish goes white.
  2. Remove the fish and place on a large serving dish. Increase the heat, cook the sauce for 30 seconds and pour over the fish.
  3. Serve immediately with lots of good bread to mop up the delicious sauce!

Sample fresh seafood beside the water with a trip to Gennaro's homeland, the Amalfi Coast