In a frying pan large enough to hold all four fish, heat the oil. Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté gently until cooked but not coloured, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato pulp, basil and some salt and pepper to taste, and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the fish and cook for about 6 minutes on each side.
Serve the fish whole on individual plates with the lemon quarters and topped with some of the intensely flavoured sauce. Good bread is all that you need by way of accompaniment.
First published in Two Greedy Italians Eat Italy by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo, published by Quadrille (£20, hardback). Photograph: ©David Loftus
See Antonio in the flesh at the Durban Good Food & Wine Show from 23 to 26 August 2012 at the Durban Exhibition Centre. For more information, visit our events pages.