Roasted monkfish wrapped in pancetta with chicory

Roasted monkfish wrapped in pancetta with chicory

Kitchin Suppers
Laura Edwards

Wrapping monkfish in thin slices of pancetta before baking is a great way to protect it from the heat of the oven. The secret is to get the pan really hot before you add the monkfish parcel, so that the pancetta crisps and colours as soon as it hits the pan. In the oven, the fat from the pancetta bastes the fish and prevents it from drying out; it also imparts a wonderful, salty flavour.


Quantity Ingredient
1 filleted monkfish tail, about 450g
2 garlic cloves, peeled
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
10-15 thin slices pancetta
olive oil, for cooking
2 chicory bulbs (belgian endive), halved lengthways
50g butter
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon small capers, drained


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Have the fish ready at room temperature. Halve 1 garlic clove and rub the cut surface all over the monkfish. Season the fish on both sides very lightly with salt (as the pancetta is salty) and with pepper. Set aside.
  2. Next, lay the pancetta slices side by side on a board, overlapping them slightly to form a sheet, the length of the fish. Lay the monkfish across the pancetta and roll the pancetta around it to enclose completely. Secure with kitchen string (see below).
  3. Heat a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan until very hot. Add a drizzle of olive oil and, when it is almost smoking, lay the monkfish parcel in the pan. Cook for 2–3 minutes, turning the parcel to colour all over.
  4. Add the chicory halves to the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake for 6–8 minutes until the monkfish and chicory are cooked.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the other garlic clove for the sauce. To check both the fish and chicory, insert a small knife; it should meet with little resistance. Once cooked, remove the monkfish parcel and chicory from the pan and set aside on a warm plate.
  6. Return the pan to the heat and add the butter, chopped garlic, parsley and capers. Heat gently until melted and bubbling.
  7. Meanwhile, cut the monkfish into 2–3 cm slices. Serve with the roasted chicory and caper sauce.


  • Once you’ve wrapped the monkfish in the pancetta, tie the parcel at even intervals, taking care not to pull the string too tight; it just needs to hold the parcel together.
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