Sole is a delicately flavored fish with a fine, firm texture; it is ideally suited for combining with sauces.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips

¼ cup thinly sliced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup water

¼ cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dry oregano

¼ teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

¼ teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste

¼ teaspoon paprika, or to taste

Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste

4 plum tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch cubes

4 sole fillets (about 4 ounces each)

Sprigs of fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion; cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic; continue cooking 30 seconds longer, or until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, stir together the water, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the vegetables in the skillet.

Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the plum tomato, stirring until the mixture is well combined and the tomato is softened, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove the skillet from the heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the sole in the skillet; cook for 2 minutes, to brown lightly; turn and cook for 2 more minutes, until the fish flakes with a fork.

To serve, place the sole on serving plates; top with the bell pepper mixture and garnish.