Broiled Cod alla Romagnola (Grigliata di Pesce alla Romagnola)

On the Adriatic seacoast of Romagna, all kinds of seafood are marinated with parsley, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, and then coated with breadcrumbs and grilled or broiled. The marinade gives the seafood a nice flavor, whereas the breadcrumbs help to keep the seafood tender and moist. This recipe is quite similar to ChgoJohn’s recipe for Bacala alla Griglia, which is not surprising since the Marche region where is family comes from is just south of Romagna.

Given that it is colder with Easter this year than it was with Christmas, I decided against going outside to use a charcoal grill and used the broiler instead. My broiler is a bit crappy or perhaps I don’t use it often enough to really get to know it, so the fish didn’t turn out as browned as I would have liked. Mind you the breadcrumbs are not going to form a crust — if you are looking for that you should bread the fish and pan-fry it.

I used cod for this preparation, but you could use all kinds of fish or other seafood for this. Just make sure it’s fresh, and don’t overcook your seafood.


For 2 servings

2 pieces of fresh cod fillet, about 150 grams (5 oz) each

1 Tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 Tbsp dried breadcrumbs

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley in a container. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to mix.

Add the fish and coat them with the marinade on all sides.

Cover and allow to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

While the fish is marinating, rotate it every so often and baste it on all sides with the marinade.

Preheat the broiler. Put the fish on a hamburger grid to make it easier to turn them and to avoid breaking them. Cod is very flaky!

Sprinkle the top with half the breadcrumbs.

Broil with the breadcrumbs up until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the other side with breadcrumbs. Broil this other side until golden brown and the fish is just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Serve with a green salad and a lemon wedge.

Wine pairing

This pairs well with many dry Italian white wines. The local whites from the region are Trebbiano di Romagna and Albana di Romagna, but if you can’t find them a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi (not a Riserva) would also be very suitable.

14 thoughts on “Broiled Cod alla Romagnola (Grigliata di Pesce alla Romagnola)

  1. Yummy … I’m sorry Stefan … I never seem to say anything ‘intelligent’ about your meals … but please take that as a compliment … all of your dishes seem utterly divine and very inviting. You have that special ‘touch’ in the kitchen … it requires a lot of sensitivity as well as plain ol’ hard slog and organization, not to mention a touch of sophistication on the palate. Who knows … one day you will open a restaurant?


    1. Thanks Jo for the very nice compliment. I will probably only open a restaurant if I can afford to serve only to guests I like and not too many guests at a time — i.e. when I win the lottery. And so it is not very likely, also because I don’t participate in lotteries 😉 Perhaps a part-time restaurant could be nice, keeping a day job to support it?


  2. I could have easily joined you for dinner, Stefan, and enjoyed every delicious mouthful. It’s so very similar to my family’s methods. Though it may never brown as much as one would like, the breading will keep the fish moist unless its vastly over-cooked. Zia will enjoy seeing your dish. Keep this up and she may ask for DNA testing to see if you’re a long lost Bartolini. 🙂


    1. Thanks John, for such a great compliment 🙂

      My cooking ‘genes’ are certainly Italian but because of my height (6’1 is tall in Italy), blue eyes and blond hair it is often funny to see the reactions of Italians when I address them in Italian 🙂 And still they serve me caffè americano when I ask for “caffè”, rather than the espresso they would serve to someone who looks more Italian.


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