Monday 23 October 2023


Post fashion week month I was after a fancy pasta dish that wouldn't be too much hassle to rustle up on a Friday night but would still feel like a real treat.

I am big fan of the firm texture and unique taste of monkfish and loved the idea of adding it to a traditional Italian tomato ragout type sauce and here the sauce is really the star of the pasta dish.

I tweaked the original recipe by adding some black olives and fresh parsley for another texture and added depth of flavour and I have to say the final result felt authentic, rustic and very delicious.

 For 2 servings


  • 400g paccheri
  • 300 grams monkfish fillet
  • 250 ml (1 cup) peeled tomatoes, pureed in the food processor or blender
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 150g pitted black olives

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. 
  • Peel the garlic clove and slice it thickly. 
  • Add the garlic to the hot oil. 
  • Tilt the pan, and cook the garlic until it is golden. 
  • Then discard the garlic. 
  • This way, you end up with garlic-infused oil.
  • Add the monkfish and cook over high heat for about 1 minute per side. The monkfish should stay raw on the inside.
  • Take the monkfish out of the pan and reserve.
  • Deglaze the pan with the white wine.
  • Use a wooden spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits stuck to the pan from browning the fish.
  • Add the tomato and the milk. 
  • Stir well. 
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 
  • Stir regularly.
  • Dice the fish, and season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Add the juices that will have leaked from the fish to the sauce.
  • While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of water to a boil. 
  • When the water boils, add salt and the pasta. 
  • Set the timer for the time indicated for al dente on the package.About 5 minutes before the pasta will be ready, the tomato sauce should be nice and thick.
  • It should in fact be slightly thicker than you want it to be, because the fish will release some liquid when it is cooked in the sauce.
  • Add the fish to the sauce and turn off the heat.
  • Stir to coat the fish with the sauce, sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!

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