Salmon puttanesca

The flavours of puttanesca pasta sauce are paired with tender fillets of flaky salmon in this simple recipe, perfect for a midweek dinner for two. Serve with pasta, rice, lentils or bread for a delicious dish that's got a serious depth of Italian flavour.

First published in 2020

Arguably one of the best pasta sauces in existence, puttanesca contains all of those tiny but mightily flavoured ingredients; capers, olives, anchovies, plenty of garlic and punchy chilli. Due to all the salty ingredients be careful with seasoning; you may not need to add salt, but go heavy on the lemon zest.

This is one of our favourite ways of cooking fish. You get the nice colour and caramelisation from pan-frying first, but gently finishing the fillets in the sauce gives you perfectly soft and flaky fish every time.

Serve up with some pasta, rice, salad or lentils. Crusty bread for mopping up any leftover sauce certainly doesn't hurt either.





Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the anchovies (along with some of the oil they were kept in), the sliced garlic and chilli. Gently fry until the anchovies have melted into a paste and the garlic has softened
Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half
Add the tomatoes, olives and capers and simmer for 15 minutes
Meanwhile, place a medium-sized nonstick frying pan over a high heat. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Once the pan is smoking, add the olive oil followed by the salmon fillets and cook for about 5 minutes, until they develop a nice deep golden crust on one side (do not move the fish around the pan, as it may start to flake and fall apart if you do). If you don’t have a nonstick pan you can line the pan with some greaseproof paper and cook the salmon on top of that
Once the salmon is halfway cooked (you can see it change colour up the sides of the fillets), remove it from the pan
At this point, the tomatoes should have collapsed into a sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper
Make two small indents in the sauce with the back of a spoon and lay the salmon fillets in the saucepan with the cooked side facing upwards
Turn the heat down to medium-low and place a lid on the pan. Let it gently finish cooking the salmon for 5 minutes
Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts and with some rice, pasta, lentils or bread on the side

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