Bay and Red Mullet Tagliarini
Fish / Spring / Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers / Serves: 6

8 fresh bay leaves, centre stems discarded, pounded in a pestle and mortar
500g Rich Egg Pasta, made into tagliarini
3 large red mullet, each about 500g in weight, scaled, filleted and pinboned
80g unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 x 800g tin peeled plum tomatoes, put through a mouli with their juices
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
30-40ml red wine vinegar (depending on strength)
1 large lemon, washed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Extra virgin olive oil


River Cafe Cook Book Green
Ebury Press, London

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan, add the garlic and bay, and allow the garlic to colour a little.
Add the tomato pulp and season.
Add the vinegar and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time
The sauce should stay liquid, but become amalgamated.

Carefully cut the peel from the lemon, remove any white pith, and chop the peel finely.
Mix with the parsley.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon.
Finely cut across the mullet fillets into 5mm widths.
Add the mullet slices to the tomato sauce, pour in th lemon juice, and stir gently to allow the mullet to 'melt' in the sauce, about 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of boiling salted water to the boil, add the tagliarini and cook for 3 minutes or until al dente.
Drain well.

Adjust the seasoning of the tomato sauce.
Stir in the lemon zest and parsley.
Combine the sauce and fish with the tagliarini and serve with extra virgin olive oil drizzled over.