My Nonna’s Sautéed Cod with Tomatoes is a treasured family recipe! Enjoy this easy fish dinner!
Every time I make this cod, it smells like Nonna’s been cooking in my kitchen. And that makes me smile.
Nonna wasn’t the typical grandmother. She had movie-star good looks, perfectly coiffed blonde hair, and nails painted red. She smoked cigarettes, told jokes, danced, and was the life of the party.
I simply adored her.
Nonna was my first roommate. She stayed with us about three nights a week when I was growing up, as she took turns visiting her daughters. She didn’t drive, so there was no way to tell if she was over when my brother and I would arrive home from school.
But when Mom would answer the door and sing out, “Guess who’s here!” we knew.
“NONNA!” we’d shout, throwing down our bags and kicking off our shoes so we could run into the family room to see her. We’d find her sitting on the carpet, leaning against the arm of the couch, watching General Hospital. (She called it “The Program,” pronouncing it “prroh-grrom.”)
Her whole face would light up when she saw us, the youngest of her 14 grandchildren. She’d outstretch her arms to envelope us in a hug as we’d lean over to shower her with kisses.
Then, we’d notice the scent of delicious food coming from the kitchen. Nonna was a fantastic cook, and always had dinner prepared early, believing that “The food has to wait for you,” and not the other way around.
Nonna’s sautéed cod with tomatoes was often waiting for us on the stove, especially if it was a Friday. Sometimes, she made this dish with halibut. It’s best to use thick fish fillets, so the tomatoes have time to cook down.
You can use fresh tomatoes or canned whole, peeled tomatoes. You’ll top your cod with tomatoes, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil, then let it cook on the stove for about 10 minutes. Add sliced olives, a little more parsley and salt to taste, and it’ll be ready!
By the way, Nonna used lots of olive oil, but I’m calling for a more modest five tablespoons here. Use as much as you’d like, but don’t forget some crusty bread to soak up the pan juices!
My kids have loved this dish since they were little, and that makes me so happy. I think up in heaven, it makes Nonna smile too.
(Recipe Source: Adapted from Nonna, who taught Mom to make this. Originally published July 22, 2014 as “Nonna’s Fish with Tomatoes” and updated now with a new title, photos and added text.)