Poached Monkfish with Spaghetti in Creamy Saffron Reduction recipe

This is a luxurious sauce for a special occasion. The creamy sauce pairs well with the meaty texture of the monkfish, while reducing the sauce intensifies the flavour of the intense capers and saffron. If you can't get monkfish, other firm white fish such as halibut or cod can be substituted. Serves 4.


  • 600g monkfish tails
  • 25g capers
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 300g shallots, sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 500ml double cream
  • 500ml white wine
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 400g spaghetti


  1. Heat half the butter in a large pan and fry the shallots for 3-4 mins. Add the wine and bring to a high heat until the liquid has reduced by two thirds.

  2. Add the fish stock and reduce by two thirds again, skimming any froth. This should take around fifteen mins.

  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the saffron and cream. Season well. Cook until reduced by half again, then turn off the heat.

  4. Add the sugar, lemon juice and remaining butter, and blender the mixture.

  5. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted water until tender and drain thoroughly.

  6. Put the sauce back on the heat and add the monkfish and capers. Poach the tails for 6-8 minutes until cooked through. Stir in the basil at the last moment.

  7. Serve on warmed plates with the chopped tomatoes sprinkled over the top.

Recipe Details:

  • Author: Jane Flett.
  • Published:

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