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.