You will need:(serves 2)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 medium aubergine
1 tin whole cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1/2 jar (350g) passata
1 teaspoon Candarel granular sweetener
1 pinch chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed Italian herbs
1 bay leaf
fresh basil leaves
120g cod fillet
100g smoked haddock fillet
130g salmon fillet
I often get inspiration for my own recipes when I'm eating out, or if I'm on holiday. Somehow, food tastes better when someone else has prepared it for you..... and when you are on holiday under the Mediterranean sun, even the simplest of foods can taste amazing! I have been known to cook pasta in mineral water on return from a holiday just trying to recreate that special 'something'! (I know-I'm totally bonkers!)
I ate a version of this fish ragù in a beautiful Italian seaside town called Viareggio a couple of years ago. It was a simple, rustic dish, served in the same small metal saucepan it had been baked in. Delicious, unpretentious and filling, I've recreated it many times since and it is always fabulous.....it tastes of sweet Tuscan tomatoes and sunshine.
I've given you the ingredients for 2 very generous portions. Served on its own, it is only 5 propoints per portion, (or approximately 400 calories per portion). You could serve with rice, pasta, or rustic bread -rubbed with garlic, sprayed with a little Frylight or olive oil, then oven-baked. Obviously, you would have to calculate the extra propoints or calories.
In a large frying pan, spray about 8-10 sprays Frylight sunflower oil. Slice the onion and garlic finely, cube the aubergine and fry until soft and browning. Add the tinned tomatoes, passata, puree and all the seasonings (chilli flakes to taste). Leave some fresh basil for the top when serving. You may think that candarel is an odd ingredient, but I always sweeten my tomato sauces, as it neutralises the acidity of the tomatoes. Allow to bubble on the hob for a few minutes.
Cube the fish into chunky pieces and weigh out the different types of fish evenly into 2 separate portions. I have a great cheat for this part of the recipe. Most supermarkets do pre-packed fish pie mixes......
......so, if you are time-short, or feeling lazy, this makes life SO easy as you can literally count out the pieces of fish as you add it to the dish. Check the propoints and calories though, as I have bought similar ones from different supermarkets and some work out to 5 and others 6 propoints per portion. (The listings shown are usually for half a pack, which is one portion).
Now, yesterday's post was all about apportioning portions when serving, and I have found the easiest way to serve this dish, is to use individual oven-proof bowls. They need to be quite large, soup or spaghetti-type bowls. This way, you are not guessing how much to give each person, and also, the fish is not being moved around too much, so it stays lovely and chunky. Layer some of the hot tomato sauce into the bottom of each bowl, add the raw fish, dotted randomly on the top of the sauce, then layer more hot tomato sauce on top to cover the fish. Remember to take out the bay leaf.
Bake uncovered in a hot oven; 190-200 degrees centigrade for 15 minutes. Because the fish is sandwiched between the layers of hot tomato sauce, it cooks quickly and remains beautifully succulent. The tomato sauce thickens and caramelizes around the edges of the dish, which makes it absolutely delicious. Garnish with a few freshly torn basil leaves just before you serve.
You can ring the changes with this dish by adding, or substituting seafood such as prawns, mussels and squid into the ragù. Just recalculate or adjust your propoints/calories accordingly. It always turns out beautifully.
This is a great, homely, every day meal but can also be 'dressed to impress' for a dinner party.