Eel is traditionally stewed with vinegar in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. In this recipe from photographer Simon Bajada, tomato paste and a generous helping of onions, adds extra kick and complexity.
Ask your local fishmonger to bleed and “deslime” fresh eel for you, or order cleaned, frozen eel online from American Unagi.
For the eel:
- ¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (4½ cups)
- ¼ cups plus 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 2–2½ lb. eel fillets, cut crosswise into 3-in. pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the polenta:
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ cups (6 oz.) medium-grain polenta
- ¼ cups (2 oz.) finely ground buckwheat