Venetian Sole Recipe

This marinated sole dish, also known as Sagliola in Saor, is a very old Venetian recipe that brings together an unusual combination of ingredients for a sweet and sour kick. Traditionally served on the third Sunday in July to commemorate the Feast of the Holy Redeemer, the dish has origins that date from the 14th century.

1 lb. sole or flounder fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil (approximate)
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup wine vinegar (white or red)
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves, cracked
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup golden raisins
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Chopped parsley (optional)


Step 1: Season fish with salt and pepper. Dip in flour to coat and shake off excess.

Step 2: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat; in batches, cook fish fillets for 5 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

Step 3: With a slotted spoon, remove any bits of fish or flour from the skillet. Add a little more oil (or drain excess) so that you have 1 tbsp oil in skillet. Reduce heat to medium; add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until golden and soft.

Step 4: Add wine, wine vinegar, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon; bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Arrange fish in single layer in a 8″ square baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour hot marinade over fish and let cool to room temperature.

Step 6: Sprinkle with raisins and pine nuts, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Step 7: Serve at room temperature, sprinkled with chopped parsley, if desired.

Reprinted with permission from Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh’s 125 Best Italian Recipes (2008 Robert Rose).

Robert Rose