Fish sauce

Fish sauce

By
From
Sicily
Serves
4 as a main course or 6 as a starter

Use a mixture of fish, as each one will impart its own flavour. In Palermo there was a fishmonger who had a large marble slab covered in tiny or broken fish, the kind of scraps that would be perfect for this dish. By 10.30 a.m. the slab was cleared and the Sicilians were on their way home with bags of cheap fish for a tasty ragu. Since we don’t have a fishmonger near our home, I put a few shell-on prawns (shrimp) into the sauce to give it a stronger flavour. This sauce is best with dried pasta such as spaghetti.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk from the heart with some leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
a few parsley stalks, finely chopped
5 large raw prawns, shells and heads on if possible
200g tinned whole tomatoes, chopped
pinch chilli flakes
300ml fish, shellfish or vegetable stock, or water
500g mixed flavourful white fish, such as sea bass, sea bream, sole
salt
freshly ground black pepper
320g pasta of your choice, to serve
small handful parsley, finely chopped

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the shallot, carrot, celery and garlic with the bay leaf and parsley stalks over a low heat for 5 minutes. Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Remove the heads and set aside. Add the tomatoes, chilli and prawn heads, if using, followed by the stock, to the pan and bring to the boil. Let it cook slowly for 10 minutes. Use tongs to fish out the prawn heads and squeeze the juices out into the pan. Discard the heads. Add the fish and the prawns to the pan and cook slowly for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  2. Toss freshly cooked and drained pasta with the sauce in a large frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil and a little parsley. Serve straight away.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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