Cod, Samphire and Roasted Red Pepper Fregola

It seems like summer has come early at the moment! All this good weather calls for a crisp glass of white wine and a nice piece of fish. If you can't buy fregola then orzo or any other small pasta will do just fine.


1 tbsp olive oil

45g onion, finely diced

6g red chilli, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

200g large and small tomatoes, cut into 1cm squares

140g roasted red peppers (in brine), 1cm cubes

6 cardamom pods, husks discarded

3 cloves

1 tsp sweet paprika

¼ heaped tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp sugar

Salt and pepper

1 tsp tomato puree

100g fregola

75ml white vermouth, or white wine

1 vegetable stock pot dissolved in 400ml boiling water

½ lemon, zest and juice

2 skinless cod fillets

50g samphire

Micro-coriander for garnish


Add the olive oil to a medium sized saucepan on a medium heat. Add the onion, fry until translucent then add the chilli and garlic. Continue to fry for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes and roasted red peppers into 1 cm squares and add to the saucepan, cook for 5-10 mins.

Bash the cardamon pods to break the husks, remove the black seeds and add to a pestle and mortar along with the cloves. You can discard the outer cardamon husks. Grind to a fine powder then add to the saucepan.

Add the paprika, cumin, coriander, sugar, salt and pepper to the saucepan then stir well and cook for a further minute. Add the tomato puree.

Add the fregola to the saucepan, stir well so its coated in the mixture. Pour in the vermouth and stir again. When the liquid has mostly been absorbed, pour in the stock a little at the time. You'll need to treat this like risotto as the fregola will easily stick to the bottom of the pan so you'll need to stir frequently for about 20-30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

When the fregola is almost cooked but still has a little bite, grate in the zest of half a lemon. Reserve the juice for later.

Now you can start cooking the cod and samphire. Season the fish with salt on both sides. Add a little oil to a good non-stick frying pan, fry the cod for 3ish minutes one side before flipping and finishing for another 2 minutes on the other – squeeze over some lemon juice. Leave to rest and season both sides.

Meanwhile in a pan of boiling water, add the samphire and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Serve the fregola in a large shallow bowl, scatter over the samphire, place the cod on top, crack a little black pepper over, then sprinkle over the micro-coriander.