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Baked Sole with Pecorino and Butter

  • ACTIVE: 15 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

Efisio Farris got this recipe for sole—baked with plenty of butter and a healthy sprinkling of salty pecorino—from his Zia (Aunt) Maria, who now serves it at her Orosei restaurant, Su Barchile. "The combination of pecorino, butter and fish is a classic way to combine land and sea; you can also see it in traditional dishes like breaded mussels or eel with cheese, sage and mint," Farris says. To enhance the flavor of the fish, you can finish the recipe with a sprinkling of bottarga (dried fish roe).

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced, plus more for coating
  2. Four 6- to 8-ounce sole or flounder fillets
  3. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  6. 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  7. 1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese, preferably Pecorino Sardo (about 1 ounce)
  8. 1/2 ounce bottarga (optional); see Note
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the fish fillets in one layer. Arrange the fish fillets in the dish, top with the butter slices and drizzle with the olive oil. Season the fish with pepper and scatter the parsley and thyme on top. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the fish fillets with the grated pecorino. Broil for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Let the fish fillets stand for 5 minutes, transfer to plates, grate the bottarga on top and serve.
Notes Bottarga is the roe of tuna or mullet that has been salted, pressed and dried; it can be grated or sliced paper-thin. Bottarga is available at specialty food stores and online at amazon.com or gourmetsardinia.com.

Suggested Pairing

Sole is a delicate fish, but in this dish it acquires a nutty richness from pecorino cheese and butter; similarly, Vermentino, a delicate white variety, gains richness when blended with Nuragus, another native variety that is softer and more full-bodied.

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