Mediterranean Fish Recipe
You don’t even need to make a fish stock for this wonderful dish — the aromatics and anchovies add a great depth of flavour. Even if you don’t like anchovies, use them. The dish doesn’t taste like anchovies at all! They simply add a delicate salty flavour that will be savoured in every bite.
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, diced & fronds reserved for serving
- 800g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- Pinch saffron threads (optional)
- 500mL water
- 4 thyme sprigs, tied in bundle with kitchen string
- 700g firm white fish, such as ling or cod, pin-boned, skin removed & cut into large pieces
- Juice 1 lemon
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Using mortar and pestle, mash garlic cloves and anchovies into paste. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery and fennel for 3–4 mins, or until soft.
- Add mashed garlic and anchovies. Cook, stirring, for about 1 min, or until mixture is fragrant, then add tomato, tomato paste, paprika and saffron, if using.
- Cook, stirring often, for 10–15 mins, or until tomato has cooked down a bit and mixture is aromatic.
- Stir in water and thyme sprigs and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover partially and simmer for 30 mins.
- Add fish, then cover and simmer for about 4 mins, or until fish is just cooked through.
- Remove from heat and remove thyme sprigs. Add lemon juice and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve immediately, scattered with reserved fennel fronds.
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