Baked Sea Bass Stuffed with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms with Clam and Saffron Chowder

Paul Merrett cooks this tender delicately flavoured fish with a delicious stuffing and serves it with a flavoursome sauce
By Paul Merrett
Baked Sea Bass Stuffed with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms with Clam and Saffron Chowder
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 50 g butter
  • 500 g baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 200 g wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 x 1.5 kg sea bass, gutted, scales removed and boned with head intact
  • 8 slices pancetta, or very thinly sliced sweet cured streaky bacon

For the sauce

  • 1.5 kg clams
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 150 ml cream
  • 1 pinches saffron
  • 2 peeled cooked potatoes, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 1 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 3 cooked carrots, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. Heat half the butter in a large pan and lightly cook the baby spinach over a low heat until wilted. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan. Add the garlic then the mushrooms and gently fry for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Stuff the mushrooms and spinach into the bass. Wrap the bass in the pancetta slices.

5. Heat a large non-stick oven-proof pan and cook the bass on one side, then place in the oven for about 12 minutes to finish cooking.

6. For the sauce: place the clams and chicken stock in a large pan and cook for 2 minutes or until steamed open. Discard any unopened clams.

7. Remove the clams and reduce the stock slightly. Add the cream, saffron, potatoes, parsley and carrots.

8. Return the clams to the pan with the leek and stir well. Cook for a further minute.

9. To serve: place the bass on a large serving dish and pour the sauce around.

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