Recipe: Grouper (Ċerna) in a tomato and basil sauce

Grouper fillets in tomato sauce- Ċerna b’zalza tat-tadam u ħabaq

Aqra bil-Malti: Recipe: Grouper (Ċerna) in a tomato and basil sauce

Summer is here again and in this period we eat more fish. It is also the tomato season and most of us keep a basil plant at home. With these three ingredients we can make a simple traditional Mediterranean meal.

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 people


  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 4 Grouper fillets (around 800 g-1 kg in total)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped into small cubes
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil, chopped



  1. Heat the olive oil on a moderate heat and fry the fish fillets on both sides just until they get a bit of colour. Carefully remove them from the oven and place them on a plate.
  2. In the same pan fry the garlic for a few seconds, then add the tomatoes, lower the heat and let the tomatoes simmer until they soften. Put the fish fillets in the pan again, add salt, pepper and the basil. Let it simmer and turn them once until the fish cooks and the sauce starts to reduce.
  3. Serve immediately with a green salad and fresh bread.

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