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Tilapia with Tomato and Artichoke Sauce

A fast tomato sauce with garlic, rosemary and red wine acts as a perfect braising medium for tilapia, a lean white fish now farmed and readily available. Chopped artichoke hearts and a sprinkling of fresh parsley or basil complete the sauce. For a bolder flavor, toss in some capers or chopped black olives at the end.

Slideshow: Fast Fish

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (from one 28-ounce can)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds tilapia fillets
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped drained and rinsed artichoke hearts (one 14 1/2-ounce can)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil


  1. In a large deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine, tomatoes, rosemary, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the fillets with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Nestle the fish in the sauce, bring back to a simmer, and continue simmering gently, covered, until just done, about 6 minutes for 1/2-inch-thick fillets.
  3. Carefully remove the fish from the pan. Stir the artichoke hearts and parsley into the sauce and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Stir in any accumulated juices from the fish. Spoon the sauce over the tilapia.


Fish Alternatives Cod, haddock, grouper, and Chilean sea bass fillets would all work well in this recipe.

Suggested Pairing

The acidity in the tomatoes makes this a good candidate for pairing with an assertive, acidic white wine with plenty of character. A Sauvignon Blanc, either from the Loire Valley in France (such as a Sancerre) or from California, would be a good choice.

Photo © Helene Dujardin Published August 2012

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