Pesce in carpione, or marinated fish is a typical dish that you can find in almost every “grotto” in Ticino
(For all non-Swiss: Ticino is a canton in the south of Switzerland. It borders Italy and the official language is Italian. And a “grotto” is a small, rustic restaurant, usually, open only in summer because it’s mainly served outdoors. Mostly only local dishes are offered there. Polenta, risotto, cold cuts and even “pesce in carpione”. If you come to Ticino, a visit to a grotto is a MUST)
In this dish, the fish is first fried and then marinated in a wine-vinegar-vegetable marinade
The result is a tart, refreshing dish that is eaten cold. It is served with a side dish. Polenta, roasted potatoes, or salad.
In the past, this was a method of preserving the fish longer
In Ticino, there are several lakes and so typically a lake fish is used. However, since my husband doesn’t like lake fish that much, I used sea fish. It’s not a problem at all.
“Pesce in carpione” is easy to make. You can use whatever vegetables you have in the house and the spices are up to your taste.
They usually use white wine for the marinade, but I have also eaten marinated fish with red wine marinade.
In the “Grotto” you sometimes get whole marinated fish. I personally prefer fish fillets.
Here is the recipe for 4 people:
Marinated fish – pesce in carpione
- 400 g fish fillet
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 dl bouillon or water with herb mixture, e.g. herb butter mixture
- 2 dl vinegar
- 3 dl white or red wine
- salt/pepper to taste
- Fresh herbs like thyme oregano, laurel
- 2 tablespoons parsley leaves
- Peel and chop onion and garlic
- Peel carrot and cut into pieces about 5 mm thick
- Wash celery and cut into pieces about 5 mm thick
- Dab fish fillet dry with kitchen paper, then dredge in flour
- Heat olive oil in frying pan
- fry fish fillets in hot oil on both sides
- Place fish fillets next to each other in a shallow dish
- Sauté onions and garlic in the same pan (add a little more oil if necessary)
- Add vegetables, steam, then deglaze with bouillon (or herb water). Continue cooking on low heat until the vegetables are soft.
- Add vinegar, wine and salt/pepper and herbs.
- Bring everything to the boil again, then mix in the parsley.
- Spread the vegetable broth over the fish fillets, the fish must be completely covered
- Allow to cool and then marinate in the refrigerator at least overnight.
The marinated fish can be kept in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days