I recently had the pleasure of meeting the owners of Cannillo’s Italian Food Importers, who are celebrating their 75th Anniversary in business. Cousins Paul and Jim Cannillo are 3rd generation Cannillo’s that have been importing La Fede Italian food products since 1936. From their warehouse in Passaic, New Jersey they distribute their fine products throughout the Tri-State area. Anywhere I went in their warehouse I ran into another family member, so this is truly a family run business.
If you have not tried or used San Marzano tomatoes in your recipes I suggest you start with La Fede brand and start with the best. The quality is unquestionable and comes officially certified from the Italian Government that the tomatoes in these cans are not only San Marzano tomatoes, but they are grown in the San Marzano region of Italy. Anyone can grow a San Marzano tomato. Heck, you can grow it right in your back yard. But it’s not just the type of tomato that makes San Marzano special, it’s where they are grown.
San Marzano tomatoes come from a small town of the same name near Naples, Italy, and were first grown in volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Compared to the Roma tomatoes, SanMarzano tomatoes are thinner and pointier in shape. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is much stronger, more sweet and less acidic. Canned San Marzanos, when grown in the Valle del Sarno(valley of the Sarno) in Italy in compliance with Italian law, can be classified as Pomodoro S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino and have the”DOP” emblem on the label. Without that label and emblem they are not true San Marzano tomatoes.
Other specialty items carried by Cannillo’s in addition to their San Marzano tomatoes are First Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oils, 4 leaf aged Balsamic Vinegars, Genuine Pecorino Romano, Prosciutto D’Parma, La Fede Vodka Sauce, Aurricchio Italian Provolone, Locatelli Romano, San Danielle Dry Sausages, and San Danielle Homemade Soppresata’s . For a full listing of all their products and how you can get them log on to their web site at: http://www.buylafede.com/ Or, if you are near their Passaic, New Jersey warehouse stop in to their retail outlet store and buy up some bargains. Tell Paul or Jim that Peter sent you. You will be well taken care of.
They are located at 367-375 Harrison Street, Passaic, New Jersey 07055. You can phone them at 973-778-5580.
This is a dish my mother used to make that is great for one of those quick dinners you can make when you get home from work late. It takes no time to put together and cooks in about 20-25 minutes.
My mother would prepare all sorts of fish this way when my brother-in-law Arthur was dating my sister. Friday nights were fish nights in the Bocchieri household, and I loved it.
Baked Scrod with Chunky Tomatoes & Capers
- 1 or 2 pollock or scrod/cod fillets
- 1 1/2 cups of San Marzano tomatoes (La Fede brand if you can get them), roughly chopped.
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of capers, rinsed
- 2 leaves fresh basil, torn
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon of Italian Flavored bread crumbs
- 1-2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a small sauce pan add the olive oil and cook the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Place pollock/scrod/cod fillet in a Pyrex roasting pan, if you have one. Lightly salt the fish and add freshly ground black pepper.
Pour the chunky tomato sauce over both fillets. Add the capers and lightly sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs and a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Add the white wine around the fish.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until fish is opaque. Don’t over cook the fish or it will dry out.