Sea bass fillets stuffed with salmon mousse


For the sea bass
For the pasta
  • 550g/1lb 4oz '00' pasta flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 4 free-range whole eggs

  • 5 free-range egg yolks

For salsa verde

Preparation method

  1. For the sea bass, place each fillet of sea bass between two sheets of heatproof cling film and use a rolling pin to flatten them out quite gently, making sure that you do not break the flesh of the fish.

  2. Leave the flattened fish in the cling film and store in the refrigerator until required.

  3. Place the salmon, basil, breadcrumbs, shallot, egg white, cream and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, in a food processor.

  4. Blend for just over one minute, or until the mixture reaches a puréed but still coarse consistency.

  5. Transfer the salmon mixture to a piping bag to stuff the sea bass - if you don't have a piping bag, you can spoon the mixture instead.

  6. Remove the sea bass from the fridge and unwrap it. Lay each fillet flat on a fresh sheet of cling film and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

  7. Pipe (or spread) the mousse evenly over the fillets and then carefully roll up or fold over (depending on the size of your fillets) to enclose the stuffing.

  8. Wrap up tightly in the cling film to make a sausage or cylindrical shape out of the fish. Tie the cling film at both ends to keep the shape.

  9. Wrap the cling film parcel in a layer of foil and seal at both ends. Leave the fish parcels to rest in the refrigerator until required.

  10. For the pasta, place the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack in the whole eggs and add the egg yolks.

  11. Mix well until the dough comes together as a ball, and then knead, using your hands, for about five minutes.

  12. Cover and allow to rest for as long as possible - you can cut any pasta you don't wish to use into portions and freeze it for another dish.

  13. Flour the pasta machine, then, starting at the lowest (thickest) setting, feed the dough through the machine, turning the handle with one hand and holding the dough as it comes through the machine with the other.

  14. Change the setting on the pasta machine to the next-thickest setting, flour it again and feed the pasta sheet through the machine again, as before.

  15. Repeat this process 3-4 more times, flouring the machine and changing the setting down each time - it helps to cut the pasta into smaller squares as this will mean the pasta is less likely to dry out (any pasta you are not working on should be covered with cling film.

  16. Finish making the pasta by running the dough through the tagliatelle cutter. Set the pasta aside, covered, until you are ready to cook it.

  17. For the salsa verde, tear or finely chop the parsley, mint and basil and place in a medium bowl.

  18. Chop the anchovies and capers, if using, and add them to the herbs. Stir in the garlic.

  19. In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, wine vinegar, sugar and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Pour over the herb mixture, cover and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes - the salsa verde can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

  20. To cook the fish parcels, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully place the fish parcels in the boiling water, turn down the heat and poach gently for 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from the water and allow the parcels to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.

  21. To cook the pasta, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then drain.

  22. To serve, unwrap and cut each fish roll into 2-3 slices. Mix the pasta with the salsa verde in a bowl and pile the dressed pasta onto each of four plates. Place the fish slices on top.

1-2 hours preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 6

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