Cod wrapped in fennel and speck with cannellini beans and spinach

Impress your guests with James Martin's sophisticated Mediterranean recipe for speck-wrapped cod parcels served with beans and spinach
By James Martin
Cod wrapped in fennel and speck with cannellini beans and spinach
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 200 g speck, pancetta or prosciutto, very thinly sliced
  • 200baby g fennel
  • 4 cod fillets, each 250g, skinned and pin boned
  • extra virgin olive oil, for frying

For the cannellini beans:

  • 50 ml garlic oil
  • 80 g plum tomatoes
  • black pepper
  • 80 g spinach leaves
  • 80 g cooked cannellini beans

For the red wine garnish:

  • 15 g butter
  • 50 g shallots, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 15 g rosemary, leaves picked
  • 400 ml red wine


1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add in the fennel and blanch for 4 minutes, drain and plunge into cold water. Drain and set aside to cool.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/gas 5.

3. Top and tail each fennel bulb. Cut out out the tough central stalks, then halve the fennel bulbs width-wise.

4. On a work surface lay out 4 portions of speck wide enough to cover each cod fillet and about 3 times as long. If necessary overlap a few pieces of speck to achieve the required width. Place a quarter of the fennel segments width-wise across each portion of speck about a third of the way up.

5. Lay a fillet of cod on top of the fennel, season with black pepper and wrap the speck over the cod to make a parcel. Repeat the process making 4 parcels in all.

6. Warm a large casserole with enough olive oil to cover the base. Add in the cod parcels and bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes, turning the cod halfway through.

7. Meanwhile, to make the cannellini bean mixture, heat a large heavy-based frying pan and add in the garlic oil. When hot, add the tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Fry for 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened.

8. Add the baby spinach and fry until wilted, shaking the pan occasionally. Then add the cannellini beans and mix together well. Check the seasoning. Keep warm.

9. Meanwhile, warm another large frying pan for the red wine garnish and add in the butter. When the butter has melted, add the shallots, garlic and rosemary. Fry until softened, stirring often, about 6 minutes.

10. Add the red wine and cook briskly until reduced by four-fifths. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl.

11. To serve, put some cannellini mixture in the centre of each plate and place a cod parcel on top. Drizzle a thin ribbon of red wine mixture round the outside of each plate.

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