Oven Braised Snapper with Puttanesca

This oven-braised snapper with Puttanesca is a wonderful dish for fish lovers. I have blogged about Puttanesca already, but this version is a little different and not served with pasta. I found this lovely recipe in Fine Cooking and adapted it slightly, but the original one can be seen here. As many know, Spaghetti alla puttanesca is an iconic Italian pasta dish that originated in Naples in the mid-20th century. Puttanesca, a sauce made with tomatoes, olive oil, olives, anchovies, chili peppers, capers, and garlic is traditionally served over vermicelli or spaghetti pasta. But this lovely pasta sauce, with bold flavors, also makes a fantastic accompaniment to fish. So, if you’re a fish fan who is also mindful of the amount of carbs you consume, this simple dish is perfect for you.

Red Snapper

Red snapper is a popular fish often found on restaurant menus. The Red snapper lives in waters all around the world but is commonly found in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and along the Atlantic Coast. Taste-wise, snapper is a mild, slightly sweet fish with a subtle nutty taste. Considered a light white fish, its meat is lean and moist with a firm texture, making it a versatile ingredient in recipes. And in case you’re curious, snapper is not a “fishy” fish compared to many other fish varieties, making them ideal for kids and people who prefer mild fish.

Red snapper is one of the most popular white fish in the world. The name “red snapper” is sometimes used to refer to similar, but less desirable fish, like the West Coast rockfish. However according to the FDA, the labeling or sale of any fish other than Lutjanus campechanus (red snapper’s scientific name) as “red snapper” is considered a misbranding and violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

braised snapper with Puttanesca

How to Pick the Best Snapper

  • Find a trusted fish seller and verify you’re buying Lutjanus campechanus rather and not the cheaper, lookalike West Coast rockfish.
  • Buy fish with the skin on to help identify the correct fish – red snapper should always have red skin.
  • Clear, bright eyes are a sign of fresh fish. The backbone should also be bright in color.
  • Fillets shouldn’t be browning and if you poke the fish it should bounce back.

The simplicity of this oven-braised snapper with Puttanesca is what I love most. A flaky white fish is the perfect complement to the tasty and vibrant sauce with pungent aromas of garlic, anchovies, capers, and olives. This is a great quick meal any time of the year, but I love it in late summer when you are savoring those last few days with extra hours of sunlight.

braised snapper with Puttanesca

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

4 thoughts on "Oven Braised Snapper with Puttanesca"

  1. Avatar photo Sara Leslie says:

    making this tonite! what did you serve with it (for carb hungry boys)?

    1. I like to add a hearty salad with roasted roost vegetables and a bread of some kind for sopping!

  2. Avatar photo Neal Potischman says:

    Great photos and terrific dish—I remember this one well. Delicious!

    1. This recipe is very YOU. Thanks for the compliment, I’ll take that stamp of approval anytime.

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