Monkfish in Red Wine Sauce (Serves 4)
1 pound monkfish fillets, cut into 8 pieces
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon each salt and freshly-ground black pepper
4 scallions, sliced very thinly
8 fresh sage leaves
1 cup dry red wine, preferably Chianti
8 very large black olives (preferably Kalamata or Gaeta), pitted and cut in half
½ cup tomato sauce (see note)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Place the fish fillet pieces between sheets of wax paper and gently pound them to ¼-inch thickness, using a heavy pan or a meat mallet. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until it’s almost smoking. In the meantime, mix the flour, salt, and pepper on a plate. When the oil is hot, toss each piece of fish in the flour mixture, shake off the excess, and then add the fish to the pan. Cook all the fish until nicely golden, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the fish from the pan and keep warm.
Add the scallions and sage to the pan and stir until the scallions soften and begin to brown, about a minute. Add the wine, olives, and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Place the fish in the sauce, add the cold butter, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly and coat the fish. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
Note on tomato sauce: You can use pre-made sauce if you like a particular brand, just make sure that it doesn’t have added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. To make it yourself, sauté 3 finely chopped garlic cloves in a little olive oil for about 30 seconds, then add a 28-ounce can of crushed Italian tomatoes, along with some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.