Fish in Paper / Pesce in Carta


This is my favorite way to cook fish. It’s both healthful and very quick. Wrapping the fish in parchment paper keeps it moist and creates tasty juices. Paper-thin slices of vegetables are cooked along with the fish, and you have a complete meal with no cleanup.

In the summer, I wrap the fish in foil and put it on the grill. This dish is impressive enough for company. Any firm-fleshed white fish, such as cod, haddock, or catfish, or even monkfish, will do.


  • 3 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2½ pounds fish fillets
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, washed and well drained
  • 2 tofennel sprigs
  • 1 onion, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 carrot, sliced paper-thin
  • ½ fennel bulb, sliced paper-thin
  • ½ cup dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and diced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Place a large sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil on a baking sheet large enough to hold the fish. Brush the paper or foil with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Make a bed of the spinach and place the fish on top. Place the fennel sprigs on the fish and scatter the vegetables over. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and salt and pepper. Bring the paper or foil up around the fish to enclose it and turn the edges over to seal. Fasten with paper clips or just fold the edges over two or three more times. Bake the fish for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness.
  3. Carefully transfer the fish to a serving dish. Open up the parchment or foil. Cut the fish into serving pieces and serve with some of the vegetables and juices spooned over.
  4. Note: To grill, wrap the fish and other ingredients in foil and place on a hot grill for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness.
  5. Variation: Prepare individual servings in parchment paper or foil packets and let each person open his own.
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Everyone loved the full flavor & cleared their plates!

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