Rick Stein’s sautéed red mullet with parsley, garlic & spaghettini

The great thing about this is that the well-flavoured skin of the red mullet goes slightly grainy when it’s fried and seems to coat the spaghetti with the sweet taste of seafood. I also make this with monkfish, john dory, bass or bream; it’s just a lovely way of cooking fish.

red mullet
James Murphy


4 x 150g red mullet, filleted
450g dried spaghettini
4 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium-hot red chilli, finely chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
Handful flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve

  1. Cut the red mullet fillets across into strips 2cm wide. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and season with salt. Add the spaghettini, bring back to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta well and tip it into a large warmed serving bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the strips of mullet, skin-side down, for 3-4 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and chilli to the pan and fry for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and fry for 30 seconds more.
  3. Tip the contents of the pan into the bowl with the pasta, scraping up all the little bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add most of the parsley and gently toss everything together so that the fish just begins to break up. Serve immediately, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with the remaining parsley.

TIP This is lovely with the very fine spaghettini but it’s great with spaghetti or linguine too.

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rick stein at home
Our recipes are from Rick Stein at Home by Rick Stein, to be published by BBC Books on 16 September, price £26. To pre-order a copy for £22.10 with free p&p until 19 September, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193.