Pan-fried red mullet on courgette tagliatelle with scallops and purple basil pesto

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Robert Thompson's red mullet recipe is not what it first seems, as the tagliatelle which the mullet fillets and scallops sit on is actually made from ribbons of courgette. Make the pesto in advance if you like to really get ahead - the rest of this seafood recipe should take no longer than 50 minutes.

First published in 2015




Red mullet and tagliatelle

Fish velouté

  • 1 bulb of garlic, slow roasted
  • 1 banana shallot, finely sliced
  • 384ml of fish stock
  • 250ml of double cream
  • 1 dash of Noilly Prat vermouth
  • 140ml of white wine
  • olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter

Purple basil pesto


  • Food processor or blender
  • Fine sieve


For the purple basil pesto, place all the pesto ingredients into a food processer and blend until a coarse texture is achieved. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a small bowl and set aside
For the fish velouté, sweat the shallot in a little oil and butter until soft. Add the white wine as well as a splash of Noilly Prat, bring to the boil and then reduce. Add the fish stock and reduce by half before adding the cream
Bring back to the boil and reduce until thickened slightly. Squeeze the garlic pulp out of the skin and add to the velouté to taste. Blend until smooth, season and then pass through a fine sieve
Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 4. Slice each courgette in half, remove the seeds and then slice into long thin ribbons. Blanch very quickly, drain well and toss in a little butter, seasoning well
Season the mullet fillets and pan fry in a little olive oil, skin side down. Once the skin has started to crisp, transfer to the oven and cook for 2-3 minutes depending on size of fillet. Finish with a little butter, basting well
Season the scallops and sauté in a hot pan, finish with butter and a little lemon juice
Place the courgette tagliatelle in the centre of two warmed bowls. Top the courgette with the mullet fillet and seared scallop. Spoon the velouté in the bowls along with a small amount of purple basil pesto, serve immediately
First published in 2015

Robert Thompson's cooking is full of character and classical skill.

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