The first keeper of the season, striped bass are running right in our backyard.

My fisherman friend knows - he catches the fish, I cook it.  Local laws say you can keep one striped bass from 28” – 35”, which will change to a maximum of 31” in July.  When you catch the fish, bleed it immediately by severing the artery directly between the gills and give the gills a few good rakes with your knife.  Best to cook your fish the same day; it can be refrigerated for 1 or 2 days before cooking it. Otherwise, freeze it.

Puttanesca is a red sauce originating in Naples, Italy.  Puttanesca translates as “in the style of the whore;” derives from the Italian word puttana (whore).  It has a kick to it!  It’s my favorite way to enjoy a fresh striped bass from the sea.

  • 1 28 oz can of San Marzano plum tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of capers (drained)
  • ½ cup of pitted gaeta or calamata olives
  • Anchovies (if desired – I do not use)
  • Salt, ground black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Fresh Italian parsley

  1. Cut out any of the red blood from the fish by making a V cut and removing it.  Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a saucepan, saute sliced garlic in olive oil till golden.  
  3. Crush tomatoes by hand, remove core and place in saucepan.
  4. Mix the olives and capers and anchovies (if desired).
  5. Sprinkle in salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes as you like.
  6. Cut up parsley and mix in sauce.
  7. Cook for about 20 minutes.
  8. Place fish in a baking pan, spoon out sauce over fish.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
  10. Serve with a side of spaghetti or fusilli pasta and some sauteed spinach.

Janet Vitiello has lived in Huntington Bay for 24 years.  She loves entertaining, cooking, wine pairing - “Food warms the heart.”  Enjoys boating, travel, tennis, pickleball, golf, and bocce. Married for 37 years to Vince, has two sons,  Matthew (32) and JonPeter (28).  Janet has a BS in Management and an MBA in Marketing. Visit her website at