Monkfish in Cartoccio

Monkfish in Cartoccio

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Heat a large skillet over medium flame for 2-3 minutes. Season the monkfish generously with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the pan and heat 20-30 seconds. Place the seasoned fish in to pan evenly and cook for 1 minute. Turn the flame down to low. Turn the fish periodically and gently brown all of the sides of the fish. Turn the flame off and remove the fish to a platter with parchment paper or other.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small sauce pot, heat the water, ½ of the extra-virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and 1 bay leaf to a boil. Add the carrots and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove the carrots from the heat and strain.

Place a sheet of foil covered by a sheet of parchment paper on a countertop. Place ¼ of the cooked carrots, the olives, the tomatoes, 1 sprig of fresh thyme and, 1 garlic clove just left of the center of the foil and paper sheets. Place a piece of cooked fish on top of this pile. Spoon ¼ of the butter, the remaining extra-virgin olive oil, and an ¼ of the wine over the fish. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Fold the right side of the paper and foil sheets evenly over the left side and start folding the edge of the foil from one open end around to the other open end, making a well-sealed package. Carefully make small folds and the package will seal. Place the packages on a cookie sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the packages to sit for 2-3 minutes. Cut the packages open with scissors and serve.


Roast monkfish with chorizo, sherry and rice

Check out this super simple monkfish recipe for two, where the fish gets cooked in the flavoured oil of the chorizo. Ready in 40 minutes, this easy seafood dish is a wholesome, high protein midweek meal to enjoy all year through.

Malabar monkfish curry

This decadent monkfish curry is perfect for a special occasion or an indulgent dinner for two. Go the extra mile and make the creamy sauce, trust us, it's worth it.


Ceviche is fresh, zesty and super low in calories. Monkfish stars in this version, alongside mackerel and scallops. With a light marinade, this is perfect for whetting appetites before a main course.

Seafood rice

A great way to use monkfish, this impressive rice dish is packed with it, as well as gurnard and large whole prawns. Cook this easy all-in-one recipe for your next gathering. If it's easy rice recipes you're after, we have plenty more.

Roast monkfish with buttered savoy cabbage, vermouth and clams

Try this sophisticated, warming monkfish dish for dinner. It's surprisingly simple to make, given the impressive end result. The roasted fish is drizzled in a delicious sauce, made from white wine, vermouth, fish stock and cream.

Monkfish can excrete a milky-looking fluid when cooked this is fine if it’s being cooked in liquid but not so great on the grill. Salting the flesh or soaking it in brine for an hour then patting it dry before cooking will help.

To establish whether monkfish is cooked, insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the flesh – if it’s cooked through the knife will come out hot to the touch the flesh should also feel springy.

Whether cooking monkfish tail or fillet make sure that you rest the cooked fish for about 5 minutes before serving.

Monkfish fillets can be pan-fried or roasted to give the fillets colour. An average-sized monkfish fillet (around 100g) will take around 5–6 minutes.

Monkfish suits being grilled or barbecued because the robust flesh doesn’t fall apart easily. It can be cubed and skewered to make kebabs. Marinating it first is a good idea, because monkfish soaks up flavours well.

Seafood Linguine al Cartoccio (in foil)

Seafood linguine al cartoccio is a fabulous dish to serve to guests! This popular Central-Southern Italian recipe is made with a delicious fresh seafood sauce and pasta, wrapped in foil or baking paper and baked in the oven.

Linguine con frutti di mare al cartoccio

What is ‘al cartoccio’?

Al cartoccio is the Italian term for baking food in a foil or oven paper packet. This method is used mostly for seafood here in Italy. Probably the most well-known and appreciated of those seafood dishes is spaghetti or linguine al cartoccio (in foil).

What seafood can you use?

I first ate seafood pasta al cartoccio in Sicily many years ago! It was love at first bite (or forkful) The sauce is made with a mixture of different seafood usually clams and/or mussels, prawns and/or scampi plus calamari or octopus. Some people add fish, such as red mullet or sea bass. The ingredients depend on what’s fresh and available. Here in Italy, restaurants usually serve seafood pasta with fresh seafood. To make this recipe at home, you could use frozen uncooked seafood. I wouldn’t use canned.

Once the sauce is ready, the pasta (usually spaghetti or linguine) is cooked very al dente and then mixed with the sauce and everything is enclosed in a foil packet and baked in a very hot oven for 10 minutes. You can make individual foil or oven paper packets or one large one. We like to make individual ones.

Some seafood pasta al cartoccio history.

Although I ate seafood pasta al cartoccio for the first time in Sicily, this dish (or something very similar) is popular in Tuscany, Abruzzo, Sardinia, Puglia and, of course, in Campania. All regions with long coastlines and a long history of fishing!

In fact, spaghetti al cartoccio is a signature dish in the Amalfi Coast, near Naples, where they claim its invention. There, they say a certain Salvatore Cavaliere invented seafood spaghetti cooked ‘al cartoccio’ in 1965, and it became the key menu item of his brother’s restaurant, the Ciccio Cielo Mare Terra. This restaurant is still famous today for this dish and apparently celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy and Marcello Mastroianni have eaten it there!

However, there’s another restaurant in Naples called Il Bellini, where the seafood linguine al cartoccio is a big draw. Especially as they also claim its invention, saying that the present owner’s grandfather created the dish with 3 other cooks. Certainly Il Bellini is famous for their seafood linguine in foil. Actually they don’t use foil these days, but some kind of vegetable paper!

Restaurants don’t like to give out the ingredients of their star plates and I haven’t eaten spaghetti or linguine al cartoccio at either place (much as I’d like to!). So, I don’t know how different their dishes are. I do know that this is one of the best seafood pasta recipes ever!!

Foil or oven/baking paper?

We used a double layer of foil for each packet! I say ‘we’ because my lovely Sicilian hubby helped me make this dish. Actually, he did most of the work! When it comes to seafood he’s the boss in our kitchen! Most recipes I found online called for foil too. However, nowadays many people prefer to use foil less than in the past. For this dish, there are 2 schools of thought. Some say foil is better because it really seals the steam in. Others prefer oven/baking paper because they say foil can burn the pasta or the pasta may stick to it.

Seafood linguine al cartoccio will impress your guests.

Although it takes time to make (mostly to prepare the seafood), this seafood linguine al cartoccio is seriously worth it. Those last 10 minutes the sauce and pasta finish cooking in the oven, make this an incredibly flavourful dish. We used linguine, you can also use spaghetti. But, we like linguine because this pasta is slightly flat and has more surface area. It really absorbs the flavours of the seafood and tomatoes.

The other great thing about this recipe is you can prepare it in advance and cook in the oven just before serving. I wouldn’t prepare it days before. However, we have made seafood linguine al cartoccio in the morning and served it to guests for dinner. My guests are always totally impressed by this dish and yours will be too.

If you do try this seafood linguine al cartoccio recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Some other seafood pasta recipes on The Pasta Project

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How to Cook Monkfish

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Monkfish are odd-looking fish at first. However, when they are cooked properly, they produce a sweet, mild meat suitable for even the most discerning critic. The fish is among the leanest and has around 76 calories per 3-oz. serving, which makes it an ideal choice for a healthy meal. Learning how to cook monkfish in a variety of ways is easy, and once mastered, it may become a regular in your mealtime lineup.

You might have seen monkfish on a restaurant menu before. Its tail meat is commonly used in French cuisine, and other parts of the fish are consumed in different regions of the world. For example, its liver is sometimes used in Japanese hand rolls and its liver and cheeks are pan-fried in certain Spanish dishes. Monkfish are typically fished in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean think back to middle school science class, and you might recall that monkfish is an enormous bottom dwelling fish that’s known for its large head and mouth filled with spiny teeth.

Monkfish is known for its tight, meaty white flesh that is often compared to lobster meat. It’s not only similar to lobster in texture, but also in flavor. It has a mild, sweet flavor without a trace of fishiness. The versatile fish can be prepared using almost any cooking method.

How To Grill Monkfish Right.

After having my first ever Monkfish experience at La Paradeta Sants in Barcelona last year, not only did I fall in love with Monkfish, I knew I’d be rocking my own recipe. While not a pretty fish, once the skin and bones are removed, the flesh is quite beautiful and a sponge for flavors. Here’s my “Caribbean” version to what we enjoyed in Spain.

1 lb Monkfish (fillet – no bones, nor skin)
2 scallions (chopped finely)
2 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
1 lemon (juice)
3 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
1 bird’s eye pepper (chopped)
6 grape or cherry tomato (diced)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper

Important. If doing this recipe gluten free, be sure to go though the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.

Note: You’ll see me use a grill pan on my propane grill to prepare this dish. The main reasons are 1. To show you that you can do this on a stove top in a cast iron pan and 2. To keep it away from the direct heat/flame off the grill while still being above the heat source (though we need a hot surface) so we don’t overly char the fish.

The main sort of component to this dish other than the actual grilling, is to prepare the marinade/dressing. Add all the above mentioned ingredients (not the fish), into a bowl and whisk together. Then drizzle 2/3 of it on the fish (make sure the Monkfish is clean.. feel free to wash with cool water and the juice of a lemon as it’s traditionally done in the Caribbean) and allow it to marinate for 4-5 minutes (basically while your grill comes to temperature). Reserve the final 1/3 of the marinade to use as a dressing over the finished grill fish.

Crank up the heat on your grill to 400-450 F, brush or spray the grill with some oil (so the fish doesn’t stick) then gently place the seasoned fish onto the hot surface. Using the heavy cast iron skillet on my grill gave me better control of the heat. You can also do this in your indoor oven or stove top.

Close the lid on the grill and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then flip over, and pour the marinade that it was marinating in directly on top. Place the lid back on.

Flip one more time if necessary. You’ll need between 6-10 minutes in total depending on the thickness of the Monkfish you used. What I forgot to mention above (but I did explain in the video below) is that I did ‘butterfly’ the thick parts of the fish so I had an even thickness overall. Thus being able to cook evenly.

Try your best to NOT overcook the fish or it WILL go tough on you. As soon as it comes off the grill, it’s time to drizzle on the reserved marinade.

I can guarantee you, that this will be one of the best (and easy) grilled fish recipes you’ll ever enjoy. I did use the seeds of the bird’s eye pepper, but you can discard those if you don’t want the raw heat of it. Scotch Bonnet or Habanero (small amounts) is a good substitute for the Bird’s Eye or.. leave it out or use basic pepper flakes if that’s all you have.

Monkfish in Cartoccio - Recipes

Whenever I cook fish al cartoccio and I enjoy the tasty fillet’s firm perfection, I ask myself, why should I ever cook cod, salmon, trout, or monkfish any other way? If the timing and seasoning is right, the texture will be flaky and the meat infused with whatever aromas you decide to add to the paper bag. Fresh herbs, warming spices, fresh or preserved lemon, olives, capers, thinly sliced vegetables or prosciutto even, there are endless possibilities to turn dinner into an exciting package of flavours. However, when I’m in my Maltese mama Jenny’s garden in Msida, I feel the same about barbecued fish: Why should I ever turn on the oven again when there’s a nice catch from the fisherman on the table?

When we set up our BBQ in Berlin, there’s mainly meat and vegetables on the roast, fresh fish is a rather rare occasion, it stays in my indoor kitchen most of the time. In the city, I never plan my seafood meals, I buy what looks fresh and yummy and then I decide what’s going to happen with it. My thick piece of cod from the Atlantic got wrapped in a package, but before I closed it, I added lots of fresh parsley, green olives, white wine, and lemon slices. It was a beautiful Mediterranean lunch, which you should enjoy on a Saturday or Sunday, when there’s no more work waiting for you and you can pull a bottle of crisp white wine out of the fridge (without feeling guilty). Just relax and break chunks off an oily loaf of ciabatta to dip into the juices – summer perfection!

Cod al Cartoccio with Olives, Parsley and Lemon

olive oil
cod fillet (or any firm, white fish, such as monkfish or halibut), preferably a thick center piece, about 350-400g / 12-14 ounces
fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 medium bunch
green olives, with pits, 14
organic lemon, rinsed and scrubbed, 2 slices
white wine 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
fine sea salt
ground pepper

Set the oven to 200°C / 400°F (convection setting).

Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper large enough to wrap the fish and lay them on top of each other. Brush the top sheet with olive oil, place all but 1 sprig of the parsley in the middle, and lay the cod on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the remaining parsley on top of the fillet and finish it off with the lemon slices. Arrange the olives around the fish. Whisk the wine with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice and pour over the fish. To close the package, fold the sides over, twist both ends of the parchment paper, and fold the top twice so it’s well sealed. Place the parchment package in a baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. If you can flake the fish gently with a fork, it’s done. If not, close the parchment again and continue baking for up to 5 minutes. The cooking time can vary depending on the fillet’s thickness, but mind that you don’t overcook it.

Recipe: Whole Roast Monkfish Tail

Monkfish is a great fish as it has only one bone right down the centre, so there are no fiddly pin bones to deal with. Plus, it has such a delicate flesh so really does not need much doing to it. It makes a stunning centrepiece for a dinner with family and friends or a special someone, and is easily one of my favourite recipes in Marcus Everyday. Cooking the fish whole, on the bone, means it retains most of its moisture and flavour. A potato gratin makes a lovely accompaniment. This sauce works very well with all white fish – try it with sea bass, cod or haddock.

Serves 4


50g butter
1 monkfish tail, skin and membrane removed (1.5-2kg), or 2 smaller tails (750g-1kg each)
juice of 1 lemon
400g flat mushrooms, stalks removed, caps thinly sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms, stalks removed, caps thinly sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
100ml Maderia wine
375ml good-quality chicken stock
1/4 bunch of thyme, tied with a string
10g dried porcini mushrooms
50ml double cream


Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.

Heat half of the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots, garlic and a pinch each of sea salt and pepper and cook for about 7 minutes until soft. Add the Madeira and simmer for 5-7 minutes until it has a syrupy consistency, then add the stock, thyme and dried porcini mushrooms and summer gently for 30 minutes.

Remove the thyme stalks and transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor. Blitz until smooth, pass through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and add the cream. Keep warm until ready to serve.

While the sauce is simmering, heat the butter over high heat in a frying pan large enough to fit the monkfish tail(s). Once it’s foaming, season the monkfish liberally with salt, then place into the hot butter. Brown the tail(s) all over for about 5 minutes in total, then transfer to a roasting dish. Pour the butter over the top and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

Turn the tail(s) over and cook for a further 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Turn the heat on the oven up to 220C/220C fan/gas 7. Squeeze the lemon juice over the monkfish and place back in the oven for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in a separate large frying pan. When hot, add the mushrooms, season well and cook over high heat for about 10 minutes (you might have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan).

Carve the monkfish either by using a serrated knife, and cutting across the bone, or by slicing down either side of the bone and portion accordingly. Serve the fillets atop the mushrooms and smother with the sauce.

Find more recipes like this in Marcus’ latest cookbook: Marcus Everyday by Marcus Wareing, with photography by Susan Bell (HarperCollins, £20).

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In partnership with Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and Wellfleet Shellfish Tasting and Promotion (SPAT), we are curating recipes from local chefs that expand your options for eating oysters. Not just for the raw bar anymore, these delicious dishes highlight Cape Cod oysters and make it easy for the home cook, no shucking skills required!

Funding for the Cape Cod Shucked Oyster Recipe Cards is provided by Woods Hole Sea Grant and Wellfleet SPAT.

Several years ago we received a grant from the Massachusetts Seafood Marketing Program and partnered with Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod to create a series of short, fun cooking videos featuring local seafood from Cape Cod fishermen.

Cape Cod has a rich bounty of delicious seafood, caught and harvested by our local fleet of small-boat fishermen. We encourage you to try a new way of enjoying an old favorite, or to be adventurous with some of the “underloved” species that are abundant in our waters.

Funding for this program is provided in part by grants from Cultural Councils in the towns of Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Harwich, Orleans, Sandwich, Truro and Wellfleet, and by the Dennis Arts and Cultural Council and the Mid-Cape Cultural Council, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Watch the video: Monkfish Cheeks Recipe. Seafood Recipes. How to cook Monkfish (August 2022).