The beauty of this dish is that although mullet is fairly dear, it is sustainable and readily available. Furthermore, it is a well-rounded meal with a range of flavours and mixes good quality proteins, vegetables, nuts and plenty of vitamins. Lastly, if you make more pesto than you use, it can keep for days if covered in oil and refrigerated or frozen.
Recipe developed by Sara Danesin for Garofalo pasta.
Recipe: Spaghetti with Red Mullet Ragout
400 gr of Garofalo Spaghetti
4 small fillets of red mullet (pin boned, scaled and diced)
3 medium sized tomatoes
40 g parmesan
40 g pine nuts
A handful of Taggiasche olives (not pitted)
A live basil plant
1 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
A thimble full of anchovy paste
Half a glass of white wine
Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, peel, de seed them and roughly chop (leave aside)
In a saucepan, melt some anchovy paste and a generous amount of oil, together with a clove of garlic roughly chopped. Simmer for a few minutes.
Add the chopped fresh tomatoes, the red mullet and a splash of white wine, then simmer further until the fish is cooked and wine is fully evaporated
In a mortar, put some Malden salt and some clean and dry basil leaves. (Must follow the order to maintain the vivid green of the basil)
Pestle enough to obtain a green paste, then add pine nuts, then when the mix is smooth, add very little garlic, followed by the grated parmesan, and at the very end extra virgin olive oil.
To cook the pasta, use a large capacity pan and bring to the boil 4 litres of water, add salt and then the pasta.
The golden rule for cooking pasta properly is to use 1 litre of water for every 100 gr of pasta! Don’t bother adding ANY oil (it has better uses) to prevent pasta from sticking: it is the quantity of water and regular stirring that will ensure pasta doesn’t stick.
Dress the pasta with the sauce, sprinkle a small quantity of pesto, the olives and enjoy!
Thanks to Garofalo for letting me share the recipe