Ragù of red mullet with penne recipe

Red mullet is such a flavoursome fish and you can use small fillets in this recipe, which are very often cheaper, and plentiful in summer.

Serves 4

Extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp very finely chopped celery
1 tbsp very finely chopped fennel
1 tbsp tomato purée
125ml / 4½ fl oz / generous ½ cup red wine
50ml / 2 fl oz / 4 tbsp orange juice
6 ripe cherry tomatoes
1 star anise
½ tsp ground fennel seeds
Piece of dried orange peel
Pinch of dried oregano
3 small red mullet (or red snapper), scaled, filleted and pinboned
150g / 5½ oz penne pasta
Small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic, celery and fennel gently until soft and lightly golden. Add the tomato purée and cook for 3–4 minutes, then add the red wine, increase the heat and boil to reduce by at least half. Add the orange juice and boil until reduced by half again, then add the whole cherry tomatoes, star anise, ground fennel, orange peel and oregano. Lay the fish fillets in the pan and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, then stir to break up the fish. Remove the orange peel and star anise.

Meanwhile, boil the penne in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water until al dente, then strain and add to the sauce, using a little of the cooking water if necessary to loosen the sauce, which should lightly cling to the pasta. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, season and serve.

• This is an edited extract from Fish Easy by Mitch Tonks (Pavilion, £19.99). Order a copy for £15.99 from the Guardian bookshop

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.


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