Pasta with Monkfish and Cherry Tomatoes is a simple and tasty pasta recipe, perfect for all occasions, from everyday meal to more sophisticated dinner.
It’s made with few very simple ingredients, each one with a delicate flavor that enhance the taste of this delicious recipe.We have used high quality ingredients, necessary if you want this quick easy recipe to be perfect.
So let’s start with some cherry tomatoes, ripe and sweet. If you can’t find cherry tomatoes, use grape tomatoes that are fine too. Then garlic, which must not be missing in fish recipes.
The most important ingredient: the monkfish. It’s a rather ugly fish but don’t be swayed by his looking because, unlike its ugly appearance, its meats are really delicious. The monkfish has a firm consistency, it’s lean, very valuable and nutritious. Its flavor is very delicate and easily combines different ingredients for the preparation of many fish recipes.
Finally, for the pasta we used spaghetti, but every other pasta shape go perfectly with this fish sauce. For example Paccheri or Fusilli for a shrot shaped pasta; Linguine o Bavette if you prefer a long one.
If you want to make an amazing dinner and you don’t have so much time to make it; or simply if you have guests for dinner you want to amaze with the elegance of simplicity, try this recipe Pasta with Monkfish and Cherry Tomatoes! Success is guaranteed!
What is Monkfish?
Monkfish are fish that inhabit the deep waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.
This fish don’t swim but use their fins to “walk” on the ocean floor and look for prey. They are very ugly fish with a huge mouth. They are voracious eaters and eat almost anything that swims nearby.
Despite their ugly appearance, their meat is exquisite. Each fish contains two thick fillets, generally weighing between one and four pounds, on either side of the spine.
The tail is prized for its tenderness and mild flavor, and is the most commonly sold part of the fish.
There is also tasty meat located in the cheeks, but it is hardly used in recipes. The meat of the monkfish is firm, lean and whitish in color.
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Pasta with Monkfish and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 Min
- Cook Time: 25 Min
- Servings: 4
- 350 g (12 oz) of spaghetti or the type of pasta you prefer
- 500 g (1,1 lb) of monkfish (fillet)
- 500 g ( 1,1 lb) of cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- some fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- fine salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon of coarse salt for the pasta
Step 1) – Start preparing Pasta with Monkfish and Cherry Tomatoes by cutting the monkfish into fairly thick slices. Remove the central bone with a knife, being careful to remove any skin residues too. Then cut the monkfish fillets into pieces of about 2 cm (1 inch) and keep aside.
Step 2) – In a large frying pan sauté the 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole, in 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. If you leave the garlic whole, then you can remove it before serving. If, on the other hand, you like the strong flavor of garlic, you can finely chop it to flavor the sauce.
Add the cherry tomatoes – washed and cut in half – and some fresh parsley leaves finely chopped. Stir then add a pinch of fine salt to taste, cover with the lid and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Step 3) – Now remove the garlic and add the monkfish previously cut into pieces. Keep cooking for another 5 minutes so as to cook the fish as well.
Step 5) – Meanwhile, boil plenty of water (about 2 liters) in a pot, for the pasta. When it boils, add a tablespoon of coarse salt. Add the pasta (we opted for spaghetti) and cook following the cooking times indicated on the package. Usually it goes from 8 to 12 minutes.
Step 6) – Drain the pasta al dente with the help of a pasta spoon. Place it directly into the the frying pan with the tomato and fish sauce. Stir to mix well and flavor the pasta. Your Pasta with Monkfish and Cherry Tomatoes is ready. Serve hot.
It’s possible to keep pasta with monkfish and cherry tomatoes for 1 day in the refrigerator. You can freeze the monkfish sauce ONLY if you have used fresh ingredients, not defrosted ones.
Pasta with Monkfish and Cherry Tomatoes: Tips and Tricks
There are many variations, tricks and tips for this recipe. So here are some for you:
Types of Tomatoes
We used cherry tomatoes but if you can’t find them because it’s not the season, you can use other qualities of tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes, which are just as small, even if a little oval. If it’s impossible for you to find small tomatoes, feel free to use cluster tomatoes, which are very common to find. Cut them into very small pieces. The effect is not the same but the taste is certainly just as good.
If you really can’t find any fresh tomatoes of any kind, don’t worry. You can do pasta with monkfish with canned peeled tomatoes or even with tomato passata. So, sauté the garlic and add the peeled tomatoes, crushed with a fork or with your hands, or add the tomato passata. Cook the sauce and then add the fish.
With Swordfish: a Variant
If you want you can replace the monkfish with swordfish. Cut it into small pieces and add it after cooking the tomato sauce. It cooks in 5 minutes. You can also add some olives at the end.
With Frozen Fish
You can use both fresh fish, certainly tastier, and good quality frozen fish to make pasta with Monkfish. If you have opted for frozen fish, you need to defrost it first. Then proceed as indicated in the recipe.
Pasta with Monkfish and Cherry Tomatoes: Herbs and Aromas
If you don’t like parsley or you want a differet taste, add some fresh basil leaves or a little of dried oregano, widely used in Mediterranean cuisine. If you like spicy dishes, you can add one or two red hot chilli peppers to the sauce, taking care to remove them before serving the pasta.
The Monkfish in Italian is called “Coda di Rospo” or “Rana Pescatrice” (literal translation: toad tail, angler frog). Probably the words “frog” and “toad” are associated with this sea fish because it lives and hunts in the seabed. Therefore you can find it always in the sand like amphibians and like them it has a very large mouth.
The English name Monkfish probably refers to the rather enlarged shape of the head and mouth reminiscent of a monk’s hood and the dark brown color of the skin.
However delicious and succulent, the monkfish is certainly not beautiful and attractive. We can say that appearances are often deceiving!