You may (or may not) remember this recipe for Cod alla Diavola from that time I shared it during my @Whole30Recipes Instagram back in January of 2018.
So why is it only appearing on the blog in late February, 2019? Well, turns out I never got around to uploading it!
In my defence, January 2018 was probably the second busiest time of my adult life. I was putting the finishing touches on my PhD dissertation, preparing for my final exams, creating content for the blog, gearing up for the aforementioned @Whole30recipes takeover (which is a ridiculous amount of work) and teaching full time at two very distant campuses (I work as Professor).
The busiest time, you ask? Right now, in the throws parenthood! Everything else seems like a breeze.
To bring this story full circle, I was reminded of this Cod alla Diavola when a lovely reader requested a recipe for cod. My first reaction was, of course, to direct her to this little recipe that I love so much. Lo and behold, when I went to retrieve the url for her cooking pleasure, I noticed it was missing! Gasp!
So here it is, in all of its delayed glory!
Personally, I love this Diavola sauce with cod. Not only does cod cook quickly, but it is also fairly subtle in flavour and often available wild-caught. The best part is it’s not very expensive!
I think the rich acidity of the tomato sauce, heat from the chili oil, sweetness from the raisins and crunch from the pine nuts work well with the delicate fish. However, you could just as easily substitute chicken thighs, chicken breast, or even eggplant for that matter.
Just keep in mind that cooking times and method will change slightly if going the chicken route since you will have to first sear the meat before adding it to the sauce and finishing in the oven.
As for the chili oil, it will be up to you to track one down that is Whole30 and/or Paleo compliant, if so desired. Most store-bought varieties are made with canola, safflower or sunflower oil. Canola and sunflower oils are, technically, Whole30 compliant. However, they are not ideal, even if it’s only in small quantities.
I think it’s worth the effort to try to hunt down one that is packed in olive oil. The flavours will be better and it will likely be a healthier product. Best bet is to check out your nearest Italian specialty shop or to order online.
If you don’t have any luck, you could simply substitute dried red chili flakes. It will still be delicious! Especially alongside some of these roasted potatoes or overtop these perfect zucchini noodles.
This recipe for Cod alla Diavola should take you less than 30 minutes start to finish, which makes it particularly fitting for this crazy period of my life when I find it harder and harder to make time for cooking. Let alone cooking on Instagram stories!
So I guess I’m uploading this now as much for myself as anyone else that’s looking for a quick-and-easy dinner idea!
Cod alla Diavola is a rich, spicy and surprisingly easy recipe that happens to be Whole30 and Paleo friendly. Try it with roast potatoes or zucchini noodles.
- 2 x 4oz wild cod filets
- 1 cup tomato passata aka puréed/strained tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic – smashed left whole
- 1 tsp capers
- 1 tsp Italian chili oil preferably packed in EVOO
- 1.2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp golden raisins
- 1 tbsp pine nuts – preferably toasted
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp EVOO extra virgin olive oil – plus extra for fish
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 400F. Rinse cod filets under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel & set aside.
Add EVOO & garlic to a cold sautée pan & set over medium heat (tip: this will allow the garlic to slowly heat & infuse oil). Cook until garlic starts to bubble (approximately 2-3 minutes). Add smoked paprika and cook 30 sec.
Add tomato passata and cook 6-8min or until sauce is reduced by 1/4 – stir regularly to avoid burning.
Add capers, chili oil, raisins, half the pine nuts and water. Stir to incorporate, taste for seasoning & adjust salt & pepper as needed.
Nestle the cod filets in the sauce. Brush tops of each filet with EVOO & season with pinch of cracked pepper.
Transfer to oven and cook 10-12min or until fish reaches internal temp of 135F.
Remove from oven & garnish with fresh parsley & remaining pine nuts.