Venetian Marinated Fish (Saor alla Venezia)
Author: Mary Ann Esposito
  • 2 pounds sole or flounder fillets
  • flour; for dredging
  • 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Cups thinly-sliced white onions
  • 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 Cup golden raisins
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped candied citron
  1. Dredge the fish pieces in the flour, shake off the excess, and place on a plate.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil, then fry the fish on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the fish to a serving dish.
  3. In the same oil (add more if necessary), slowly brown the onions about 5 to 7 minutes, until almost caramelized or deep brown in color. Add the vinegar, pine nuts, raisins, and citron. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then pour the mixture over the fish. Cover the fish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day before serving. To serve, bring to dish to room temperature.
This recipe yields 4 servings.

Comments: During a recent stay in Venice I had an appointment to interview Venetian cooking teacher Fulvia Sesani. One regal red rose was waiting for me in my hotel room. With a note that said, "Benvenuta a Venezia", or "Welcome to Venice".

Trying to find the Palazzo Morosini, where Fulvia lived and conducted cooking classes, was like wandering through a maze. Finally, arriving at the grand palace of her ancestors, I met Fulvia and was ushered into a splendid living room, where she and I talked about traditional Venetian cooking. One classic recipe called Saor is a cooked then marinated fish dish. Fresh sardines are used in Venice, but flounder or sole works well, too. This is Fulvia's recipe for saor, which must be prepared a day in advance of serving. I particularly enjoy it on a hot summer day.

Source: Ciao Italia at

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 347 Calories; 33g Fat (81.7% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 6 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : Recipe from "Nella Cucina" by Mary A. Esposito, (Morrow Cookbooks, 1993)
Recipe by Recipes at