Red Mullet Spaghettini

Puglia

The mullet skin forms a grainy sauce that coats the spaghettini with the sweet taste of seafood.

Serves 6

4 small red mullet, weighing about 150 g (5 oz) each, filleted

450 g (l lb) spaghettini

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

I red finger chilli, seeded and finely chopped

4 plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped

20 g (3/4 oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Cut the mullet fillets across into strips 2 cm (3/4 in) wide.
  2. Bring 3.4 litres (6 pints) of water to the boil in a large pan with 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta, bring back to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the strips of red mullet, skin-side down, for 3 minutes.  Turn them over, fry for I minute and then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drain the pasta well and tip it into a large warmed serving bowl. Add the garlic and red chilli to the frying pan with the red mullet and fry for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and fry for a further 30 seconds.

Tip everything into the bowl with the pasta, scraping up all the little bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan, then add 3 tablespoons of the parsley and gently toss everything together so that the fish just begins to break up. Serve immediately, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with the remaining parsley

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