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Cod with Tomato Sauce and Arborio Rice

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 - 5 servings


For the Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 pounds fresh tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • teaspoon saffron threads crumbled
  • 5 sprigs oregano
  • salt and pepper

For the Arborio Rice

  • zest of orange cut into 1-inch wide strips, plus some finely grated zest for garnish. (I substituted lemon)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cup Arborio rice

For the Fish:

  • pounds fresh cod or halibut -
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  • Heat up a large fry/sauté/skillet until hot. Add ¼ cup of the oil and let it get hot but not smoking.
  • Add the garlic and crushed red peppers and cook until the garlic is golden but not burnt, about 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and saffron and cook over medium heat until the tomatoes begin to soften. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper.
  • Let this cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes until the sauce breaks down and starts to thicken up. Be sure to stir and break up the tomatoes with your wooden spoon.

Prepare the Rice

  • While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • Add the orange zest strips, bay leaves, cloves, Arborio rice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water. Cook the rice for about 15 minutes until it is al dente.
  • Drain and remove the zest strips, bay leaves and cloves.
  • Place the rice back into the pot and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cook the Fish

  • When the sauce is complete, place the cod into the tomato sauce and cook (I guess this is braising) until the fish begins to flake and become opaque throughout. This takes 10 to 14 minutes. Be sure to turn the fish after about 7 minutes.
  • Serve


Ask your fish person to cut the fish so it's the same thickness and if they can cut the fish into 4 or 5 fillets.
I used bowls to serve this dish. I plated some Arborio rice in the bowl, added some sauce and topped with a fillet of cod. If I had had some fresh parsley, I would have chopped it up and sprinkled it on top of the dish for flavor and appearance.