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1/2 tablespoons olive oil, extra-virgin if available
4 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced or 6 pounds canned tomatoes, drained and diced
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small bulb fennel, finely diced (see Note)
1 pinch saffron
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
10 sprigs parsley, chopped, plus 8 whole sprigs, for garnish
1 whole red snapper (4 to 5 pounds)*
*FreshDirect Note: Since our whole snappers tend to run on the smaller side, you may wish to purchase two smaller whole fish or adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
||Preheat the oven to 350°.|
||In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally,
until the tomatoes soften but still have some shape, about 5 minutes. The tomatoes' excess moisture should have evaporated,
but if not, strain and reserve the tomatoes and return the excess liquid to the pan. Cook the liquid over high heat until it is
reduced to a syrup. Return the tomatoes to the pan, and season with the saffron, salt, and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley.
(The sauce can be made ahead of time. Let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.)|
||Place a layer of the sauce on a large, deep ovenproof serving platter. Place the fish on the platter and cover all but the head and tail with the remaining sauce.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until a knife penetrates easily to the bone.|
||Decorate the platter with parsley sprigs and serve. |
Note: If fennel is not available, either leave it out or use 1/4 teaspoon anise seed or fennel seed for a similar flavor.|