Brill, English peas, heirloom tomatoes, farfalle

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Brill is an often underrated fish, which can be served with a variety of brilliant ingredients. Luke Holder's colourful recipe pairs the fish with peas, heirloom tomatoes and a herb sauce, in a concoction which is as fresh as it is tasty.

First published in 2015







Herb sauce

  • 1 tsp tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 200ml of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil


  • Food processor or blender
  • Pasta machine


Pod all of the peas apart from 4 small pods. Cook the podded peas for 4 minutes in water seasoned with the salt and sugar
Lift out the peas and save 4 tbsp of the cooking water to use in the next step. Put a few of the peas back into their pods and set aside
Blend the remainder in a thermomix or blender for 6 minutes along with the 4 tbsp of water, pass through a sieve and chill
Heat the oven to 90°C. Blanch the kilo of tomatoes in boiling water for 15 seconds then peel but leave the stalks on 8 of them. Slice the remaining and lay in a single layer on baking trays. Add the whole tomatoes. Roast in the pre-heated oven 2 hours
For the pasta, put the flour and eggs in a food processor and whizz until a dough forms. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest for 20 minutes
Roll the dough through a pasta machine, starting with seven passes through the fattest setting. Drop the setting and pass the pasta through again. Continue dropping the setting until the pasta is approx 3mm thick
Cut into 16 5cm squares with a serrated pasta cutter. Pinch each square in the middle to form the ‘bow-tie’ shape of farfalle
Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Season the brill then roast for 10 minutes or until cooked
Heat the chicken stock in a pan. Add the fresh herbs and a dash of olive oil. Whizz in a blender until very fine. Season
Meanwhile, blanch the pasta for 2 minutes or until tender in seasoned water, drain
Warm the pea purée and pour some into each bowl. Add some tomatoes, a piece of fish and 4 farfalle. Dress each plate with the herb sauce and finish with some of the whole peas, a pea pod and 2 of the whole tomatoes
First published in 2015

Luke Holder comes by his taste for ultra-authentic local cuisine honestly: he's spent large chunks of his career soaking up regional techniques in far-flung parts of the world.

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