Cuscus alla pantesca

Cuscus flavored fish and seafood is flag dish of the Sicilian cuisine. The ‘alla pantesca’ version must include the key vegetables for the cuisine such as zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant and tomato. I used the instant cuscus for the recipe, but in a traditional Sicilian kitchen it would be prepared from scratch with semolina di grano duro.


1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch green parsley
½ can tomatoes
250g/9oz cod fish fillet
400g/14oz prawns
300g/10.5oz cuscus
1 small zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 small bell pepper
1 pepperoncino
Olive oil


In a cooking skillet, sauté chopped onion, sliced garlic, and some of the chopped green parsley. Then add tomatoes, stir and sauté briefly. Next arrange the cod fish and prawns, add water to almost cover everything and cook covered,  on low heat, until the fish is done, for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, dice the zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper and chop the pepperoncino. Sauté the vegetables in a generous amount of olive oil, in a separate skillet, for about 20 minutes, until soft.

When the fish is ready, remove from the pan and set aside; keep it warm. Add cuscus to the pan with the sauce, add some more water and cook the cuscus until done.

Finally, combine the vegetable mixture with the cooked cuscus and simmer for a few minutes longer. Then serve with the fish on the side, garnished with more chopped green parsley.


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