Poached Fish with Spinach in a Chilli-Tomato Sauce Recipe
Photo by Susan Bell
Serves 2

Poached Fish with Spinach in a Chilli-Tomato Sauce


I like this recipe because it’s an easy one-pan dish. Plus, you don’t need to be precise with the quantities– a handful of cherry tomatoes, add some onion, etc. The important thing is to keep the pan lid on, holding in the steam and heat so you get a beautiful and lightly cooked fish; but be careful not to overcook it. I’ve used hake here, but you can use any fleshy fish like cod, sea bass, halibut or even salmon

  • 4 x 150g white fish fillets, such as cod, hake, or sea bass, skinned and pin-boned
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 bulb of fennel, finely sliced (or any green veg you have spare – courgettes, broccoli would also work well)
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced (deseeded for less heat, if you like)
  • 500ml passata (I tend to look for passata in a glass jar) OR 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls (approx. 180g) of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 100g black or green olives, pitted
  • A handful of baby spinach

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • The zest of 1 lemon, plus a squeeze of juice

Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a pan on medium heat and sauté the onion, fennel and chili for 2 to 3 minutes, to soften. Add the tomato purée and cherry tomatoes. Simmer for a further 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.

Arrange the fish fillets in the pan, on top of the tomato sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and starting to flake. Just before serving, carefully stir in the olives and baby spinach and heat for a further minute.

Meanwhile combine the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, and juice in a bowl.

To serve, arrange the fish fillets on plates and spoon over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the herby topping, and add a squeeze of lemon juice to finish.

Enjoy this with some additional steamed greens.

This recipe is from Cook, Nourish. Glow – Michael Joseph, 2016

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