Monkfish & Parma Ham, Crab Sourdough Toast, Mussels & Cacciucco Ragu

Absolute luxury paired with the robust flavours of classic Italian cooking & the best of quality local seafood.

This dish would sit happily on a menu year round, it eats lightly in the spring/summer months or delivers a rich & spicy dish in the winter months.

The salty & slightly sweet Parma ham works so well with the meaty monkfish, creamy crab toast and spicy cacciucco sauce!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

For the fish;

  • 2x4oz Monkfish Fillets, cleaned
  • 4 Parma Ham Slices
  • 20 large mussels, cleaned

For the Crab Toast;

  • 2 thinly sliced baguette croutons, baked
  • 60g picked crab meat
  • 1 tb sp mayo
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
  • salt & pepper to season

For the Sauce;

  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon picked fresh thyme
  • 15mls extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g tomato paste
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds
  • half teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 100mls fish stock
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt to season

To Finish;

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoon torn basil leaves
  • 12 large plum tomatoes, core removed & chopped finely
  • 40g baby spinach leaf, washed


  1. Firstly dress the crab with the mayo, herbs & lemon, season & set aside.
  2. Place 2 slices of Parma Ham on a board then place the monkfish in the middle & wrap tightly & set aside.
  3. Make the sauce by frying the sliced garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat until beginning to brown lightly being careful not to burn, at this stage follow with the rest of the vegetables & black pepper.
  4. Allow the vegetables to cook until softened before adding the white wine, chilli flakes, thyme, bay & fennel.
  5. Allow the sauce to reduce by half before adding the tomato paste & fish stock.
  6. Simmer the sauce over a gentle heat for 30-45 mins until it becomes rich with flavour, adjust the seasoning with salt & a little sugar if required.
  7. Preheat oven to 180c, heat a non stick frying pan over a high heat, add 1 tb sp olive oil and fry the monkfish until coloured lightly on all sides before placing in the oven for approx 5-6 mins until cooked.
  8. Heat a heavy wide based pot over a high heat until smoking hot, pace the mussels in & cover until steamed open in their own juices, at this stage add the spinach & immediately pour in the sauce.
  9. Stir the mussels in the sauce until the spinach has cooked, finish the sauce by adding the parsley, Basil & finally lemon juice.
  10. Remove the fish from the oven & carve into 4 pieces.
  11. Spread the crab over the baguette croutons. Pour the Ragu of mussels into a large pasta bowl and arrange the fish & crab toast over.

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