Tuesday 15 June 2021


Oh summer, how good does it feel to have you finally here (even though knowing England it may only be for a hot second).

Blessed with a sudden heatwave in London I am feeling all Mediterranean in my cooking. After all if I can't have a trip to Capri this year I can still attempt to get a little feeling of "dolce vita" in the kitchen, even if it means sipping spritz's on my balcony rather than on a fabulous beach.

This super easy to make, super fresh and flavourful pasta with monkfish, served in a fresh tomato and chilli sauce, is exactly the kind of dish I would envision myself eating on a chequered table cloth in a fabulous piazza and thankfully it tasted like the real Italian deal. 

Monkfish also always feels a little special, the lobster of the fish world (though it is surprisingly easy to get your hands on being available at Waitrose and most big supermarkets with a fish counter), making this whole dish quite the impressive summer supper - not too heavy yet still with the magic of wonderful bowl of pasta a and a perfect example of summer holiday food, even on an East London balcony.


  • 450g paccheri, calamarata, or other large tubular pasta
  • coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • Teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 400g monkfish fillets, cut into large chunks
  • 250g cherry tomatoes 
  • 1/2 can crushed tinned cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fish stock (a stock cube will do nicely)
  • 1/4 dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley plus extra for garnish

  • Combine the oil and garlic in a medium frying pan over medium heat and gently sauté until the garlic softens and turns lightly golden.
  • Add the monkfish to the pan and sauté for about 1 1/2 minutes, tossing occasionally. 
  • Add the wine and bring to a boil. 
  • Lower the heat slightly and simmer until the wine reduces by half. 
  • Add the two types of tomatoes, fish stock, chilli flakes flakes, and a little salt to the pan and toss occasionally until the tomatoes break down and release their juices and the meat is opaque and cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. 
  • Salt the water and drop in the pasta. 
  • Cook until just under al dente, tender but firm to the bite, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. 
  • Drain the pasta , reserving 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of the pasta cooking water.
  • Add the pasta, parsley, and a small ladleful of the pasta cooking water to the pan and toss until the pasta is well coated with the sauce, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately garnished with minced parsley.

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