Both Angela Hartnett and Nigella Lawson do something similar to this. Nigella hilariously and marvellously uses black pasta and rosé, and I sometimes use her recipe when I’m feeling extravagant. This is my version, a little more down to earth. If I’m feeling even more workaday I use salmon instead of red mullet, and if I only have spaghetti, I will of course use that instead of linguine.

A lot of recipes will tell you to de-seed and peel your tomatoes. I never de-seed, but I can occasionally be persuaded to peel. Not this time though.


  • 200g linguine
  • a knob of butter and a splash of olive oil for frying
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 red mullet, filleted
  • 150g chopped, fresh, cherry tomatoes
  • 150ml white wine
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • a few snips of fresh basil

Start cooking the linguine according to the packet instructions.

Put the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and very gently soften the chilli and garlic with the spring onions. Do not allow to brown.

Add the fish fillets skin side down. After a couple of minutes turn the fish over, and cook for another minute.

The fish should be almost cooked. Add the chopped tomatoes, white wine and capers and cook for another couple of minutes. Throw in the parsley and basil and serve the fish over the linguine in its tomatoey, capery sauce.