Roast monkfish with pesto trapanese

Catherine Fulvios colourful dinner party recipe sees this meaty white fish layered with Sicilian-style pesto and roasted peppers
By Catherine Fulvio
Roast monkfish with pesto trapanese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the pesto trapanese

  • 125 g blanched almonds
  • 50 g basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tomatoes, or 200g canned plum tomatoes, chopped

For the monkfish

  • 800 g monkfish tails
  • 2 roasted red peppers, drained if necessary
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes, on the vine

For the vegetables

  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 3 courgettes, cut diagonally into 3cm slices
  • 2 red peppers, seeds removed, roughly sliced
  • 2 yellow peppers, seeds removed, roughly sliced
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • crusty bread, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

Any unused pesto can be stored in a jar, covered with a layer of olive oil to seal. It will keep for up to one week.


1. For the pesto trapanese: toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until golden. Roughly chop them, then place in a mortar. Add the basil, garlic and sugar and grind to a coarse paste, gradually adding the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and blend together, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Alternatively, blend all the pesto ingredients, except the tomatoes, in a food processor until smooth, then add the tomatoes and pulse lightly.

2. For the monkfish: remove any skin or membrane from the monkfish. Using a sharp knife, cut along one side of the central bone, working as close to the bone as possible, then remove the fillet. Repeat on the other side.

3. Lay one fillet out flat, cut-side up, and place half the roasted red peppers on top. Spoon the pesto on top, then cover with another layer of roasted red pepper. Place the second fillet of monkfish on top, cut-side down, like a sandwich.

4. Tie along the fish at regular intervals with kitchen string. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with more pesto and set aside.

5. For the vegetables: preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Combine the red onions, courgettes, red and yellow peppers and rosemary in a roasting dish. Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil.

6. Place the fish on top of the vegetables and sit the vine tomatoes on the top of the fish. Roast for 30 minutes or until the fish is opaque and cooked through (it may be necessary to cover the fish with foil if it is browning too quickly).

7. Cut the fish into thick slices, remove the string and serve on the roasted vegetables with some crusty bread on the side.

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