Red mullet, samphire and bucatini salad

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Pasta salads – not the sad examples you get in sandwich bars or buy in supermarkets – make an interesting starter or main course for a summery dinner or one-course lunch. The temperature is important and they shouldn't be fridge cold, just room temperature, so the flavours are at their best. Pasta salads are great fun for children, too.

4 servings of bucatini (a thick type of spaghetti)
100ml olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
250-300g red mullet fillets, boned and cut into rough 2cm pieces
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
120-150g samphire, trimmed of woody stalks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2. Place the cherry tomatoes on a tray and place in the oven for 1 hour to dry them a little.

Gently cook the garlic, shallots and chilli in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the red mullet, season and cook on a low heat with a lid until the mullet begins to break up a little; then add half a cup of water, simmer for another minute, add the tomatoes and remove from the heat. Blanch the samphire in boiling water for a minute then refresh under the cold tap. Cook the pasta as per cooking instructions, drain and refresh briefly under the cold tap. Mix all of the ingredients together and re-season to taste, then leave to sit for about 20 minutes, tossing the pasta every so often. You may need to add a little more olive oil before serving.

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