Fillet of Sole Florentine Style, filetti di sogliola alla Fiorentina, is a delicious Tuscan recipe and a great way to prepare a delicate tasting fish like sole. According to the original recipe, the fillets of sole are baked over spinach with Mornay sauce, a variation of the béchamel sauce enriched with egg and shredded cheese. The butter sauce I use instead for my Sole Florentine style in this recipe is simpler, less rich but equally flavorful. I used fresh spinach for this recipe but, for practical purposes, feel free to use the frozen ones as well. A ten ounce package should be enough to replace the pound of fresh spinach given in this recipe.
Ingredients and Instructions (serves 6):
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1/2 cup of fish stock or water
- 2 pounds of fillet of sole
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 pound of fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
- Combine the wine and the fish stock, or the water, in a large skillet; bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and add the fillets of sole; poach gently for about 10 minutes or until the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove the fish from the liquid, cover and keep warm.
- Boil the liquid until reduced to 1 cup and turn off the fire. In a different and smaller skillet melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, stir in the flour and the salt until well combined.
- Gradually stir in the reduced wine mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
- Start the oven and preheat at 425 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, cook the spinach: bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt, stir then add the spinach and cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain well then stir in the remaining butter.
- Butter a baking dish large enough to accommodate all the fillets, place the spinach on its bottom in an even layer. Arrange the fillets of sole over the spinach then pour the wine and butter sauce over the fillets and finally sprinkle the top with the grated Parmigiano cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake until the cheese becomes golden brown. Serve right away.
Wine pairing note: among the wines that are more easily available outside Italy, the dry white wine to pair with Sole Florentine style I recommend is a good Pinot Grigio. Use some for cooking the sole and serve the rest chilled at the table.
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