Baked Northern Pike with Tomato Sauce
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 ea. northern pike fillets
- 4 ea. bacon strips
- 1 ea. medium white onion, minced
- 1 ea. large carrot, minced
- 1 ea. celery stalk, minced
- ¼ c. parsley, roughly chopped
- 28 oz. canned whole tomatoes, do not drain
- 1 ea. rosemary sprig
- 1 ea. thyme sprig
- 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Salt and pepper your pike fillets. Get a baking tray/dish with a lip so you don’t drip anything and make a mess. Line it with aluminum and then drizzle with olive oil and spread to coat. Add the pike filets, drizzle fillets with oil, and set aside.
- In a large cast-iron or stainless sauté pan over medium heat, Cook the bacon until it is well browned and releases fat. You’re going to crumble this later so make sure it’s crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside for later leaving the bacon fat in the pan.
- Reduce heat to low and add olive oil to the bacon fat until the bottom of the pan is completely covered.
- Add onion, carrot, celery and parsley. Stir until well combined.
- Stir occasionally, adding olive oil if it seems dry, until the veggies have browned/caramelized. Should take between 30-40 minutes.
- Add can of tomatoes without draining, breaking up the tomatoes in the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Bring to a simmer. Then add rosemary and thyme, and then crumble in the previously cooked bacon.
- Leave simmering uncovered for about 15 minutes. You are looking for a thin layer of liquid on the bottom of the pan under the veggies.
- Remove from the heat while you place the pike filets in the preheated oven. Set your kitchen timer for 5 minutes.
- Move the veggies to one side of the pan and add the tomato paste to the other side. Mix with the remaining liquid in the pan. If not enough liquid to break down the tomato paste, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until it loses its paste consistency. Once incorporated, stir together with veggies.
- At this point, your timer should be going off. Flip the pike and return to the oven.
- Return the veggies to low heat and simmer for 5 minutes while you wait for the fish.
- Remove rosemary and thyme sprigs, pull pike from the oven, and plate.