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sole arrabbiata with vegetables

While sole is a tender, light, sweet, oh-so-mild fish often served with lots butter and lemon, it takes on a whole new character when poached in a spicy-winey tomato sauce laden with diced lemon and lots of chopped vegetables. Served on a bed of pasta, mashed potatoes, or brown rice, the formerly fragile fillets now feel sturdier and provide a filling, satisfying, quickly-cooked dinner. Low carb? Serve on sautéed spinach.  Pair with a red wine such as a Syrah, a red Rhone, or even a Chianti.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sole
Servings: 4
Author: More Time at the Table


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium yellow Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 small carrots and diced (don’t bother to peel)
  • 3 stalks celery with leaves diced
  • 1 Red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup julienne basil divided, or sub 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence*
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper rubbed finely between your fingers
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup water or more if needed
  • 28- ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 lemons: 1 cut into ½-inch dice including peel for the sauce and the other cut into wedges for serving
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 small zucchini diced
  • 1 ¼ pound sole fillets patted dry and lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup sliced kalamata olives garnish

Cooked pasta, brown rice, mashed potatoes, or sautéed spinach for serving--if desired.


    • Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place the plates or shallow bowls on the center rack to warm. If serving on pasta, rice, or potatoes, begin with that as the fish dish doesn’t take long.
    • Heat the oil in a deep skillet, Dutch oven, or sauté pan over medium flame and add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, sweet pepper, half of the basil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Cook covered, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until softened.
    • Pour in the wine and let cook down for 2-3 minutes until wine is reduced by half.
    • Pour in the water and the tomatoes; stir in the diced lemon. Drizzle with honey. Taste and adjust seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until a bit thickened, adding a little more water if it’s too thick. Stir in zucchini and cook another minute or so.
    • Gently lay seasoned sole fillets over the top of the sauce and cover. Let cook 3-5 minutes or until fish is just firm and opaque.
    • Spoon ½ cup or so of pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes onto each warm plate or shallow bowl to form a bed. Add the fish—2 fillets or so—and spoon a good half-cup or more of sauce over each. (Pour the rest of the sauce into a bowl or sauce boat and place on the table.) Garnish with sliced kalamata olives, reserved fresh basil, and the lemon wedges. Grate a little more black pepper over each serving. Serve hot.


    COOK'S NOTE:  You can use other white fish fillets in place of the sole. Cooking time may need to be increased with thicker fillets such as tilapia, pollack, cod, etc.
    Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2019.  All rights reserved.