Limoncello Agrodolce Cod

Limoncello Agrodolce Cod

This recipe is mostly about the sauce. It is a riff on an Italian classic, the agrodolce. If you have a bit of training in romance languages, you can probably pull apart that name and tell that agrodolce is a sweet and sour sauce. Traditionally, agrodolce is made by reducing vinegar and sugar to make something sticky, sweet, and tangy. Here we use limoncello to replace those ingredients, making this a quick and delicious meal.

If you have never had it before, limoncello is a delicious, lemon-flavored Italian aperitif. It is made by steeping lemon peels in strong, neutral spirits, and then cutting that citrus-infused liquor with syrup to create a fragrant, sweet, and still quite boozy drink.

While limoncello is very tasty–I love a little, ice-cold glass of the stuff before or after a meal–a bottle of limoncello can be a burden. As nice as it is, one can only drink so much of it. More than an ounce or so is too much for one sitting, and it isn’t something you’d want at every meal. If you find yourself with a surplus of limoncello (as nearly everyone who buys limoncello does), this is a wonderful way to finish off that bottle hiding in the back of your freezer.

By replacing the vinegar and sugar of a traditional agrodolce sauce with limoncello, which already contains both sweet and sour elements, the cooking process becomes much simpler. This dish is easy, delicious, and you can get it on the table in minutes. Not bad, eh?

Below is a recipe for fish, but this sauce would also be delicious with poultry.


limoncello agrodolce


Limoncello Agrodolce Cod
Serves 2

1 lb. cod fillets
¼ cup good olive oil
½ cup limoncello
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed
¼-½ tsp crushed red pepper
Salt, to taste

Add the garlic and red pepper to the pan with oil, and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic begins to brown. This is a spicy sauce, so if you are sensitive to heat, adjust the red pepper as necessary.

Add the limoncello and allow it to reduce for 3 minutes. Make sure the pan isn’t too hot when you add the limoncello. If the pan is too hot, the sugar in the limoncello will immediately turn to candy and your sauce will break. Add the cod fillets. Cook cod for 2-3 minutes on each side depending on thickness.

Remove cod and continue to reduce the sauce for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour sauce over fish and serve with a starch (like a nice, crusty bread) to soak up any extra sauce.



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Italian-Style Greens

Fennel and Orange Salad

Chicken Piccata

Spaghetti Carbonara

Vegetarian Carbonara

Three Pepper Bruschetta

Rigatoni alla Vodka


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