This recipe is from the team at NZ House & Garden magazine.

The translation of this Italian dish is “fish in crazy water”, but no one knows how the name came about. It could refer to the bold flavours or perhaps how crazy simple it is to make.


Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 25 minutes | Serves 4


4 x 180g firm-fleshed white fish fillets, such as trevally, cod or hāpuka

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ cup dry white wine

500g cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups fish stock or water

½ tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp capers, drained

Toasted slices of bread, to serve


Season fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the fish to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Turn and cook for 2-3 minutes more, depending on thickness of the fillets, until almost cooked. Remove from the pan.

Add a little more oil to the pan then add the onion and fennel. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Add the wine and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, stock or water, chilli and capers. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Slide the fish into the broth and baste with the hot liquid. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the fish is hot and fully cooked. Serve with toasted bread to soak up the sauce.