Sea Bass with Pesto Crust in Tomato Sauce

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Here another variation of the sea bass, basil and tomato theme: Fillets of Chilean sea bass, covered with a crust made from pesto and bread crumbs in a simple tomato sauce based on tomato or vegetable juice. It was meant as a quick Saturday night dinner and turned out to be a great success.

I usually don't use prepared food or convenience food items as main ingredients in the recipes I publish, but this dish turned out so well, that I felt it is worth an exception.


  • 4 sea bass fillets, 4 oz / 120g each
  • ca. 5 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • ca. 5 tbsp Pesto (commercially prepared is fine)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cup / 350ml tomato juice
  • ½ cup / 125ml red wine
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup / 60ml heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine pesto and bread crumbs and mix until you have a smooth paste. Add a bit of olive oil if necessary.
  2. Place oven-proof pan over low heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cook until the onions are soft but do not brown. Add garlic, cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Add tomato juice and red wine. Turn up heat and reduce to about one third of the original volume.
  4. In the meanwhile, cover the sea bass fillets with the pesto and breadcrumb paste, then put one tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese on top of each fillet.
  5. Place sea bass fillets in the pan with the tomato sauce. Place pan under broiler and cook until the Parmesan cheese and the crust start to brown lightly, ca. 5-7 minutes.
  6. With a large spatula, carefully remove fillets from pan . Whisk in the heavy whipping cream. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
  7. Serve the fillets in the sauce on preheated plates. Use a few fresh basil leaves as garnish

Preparation time, ca. 45 minutes

Yields 4 servings


Great recipe!

I tried this at home, adapting the content of the tomato sauce to be without wine or cream. Worked great!