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The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FOOD & DRINK -

Serves 4


Serves 6 Olive oil 2 large fen­nel bulbs 4 gar­lic cloves, finely sliced 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf pars­ley stalks, finely chopped 1tsp dried chilli flakes ½tsp ground cin­na­mon 1tsp fen­nel seeds 2 lemons 2 x 400g tins chopped toma­toes 250g (9oz) cherry toma­toes, on the vine 500g (1lb 2oz) riga­toni 250g (9oz) un­dressed brown crab­meat 250g (9oz) white crab­meat Place a fry­ing pan over a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Peel and finely chop the outer lay­ers of the fen­nel. Set the leafy tops and in­ner hearts aside to make a salad later.

Add the chopped fen­nel and gar­lic to the pan and cook for 2-3 min­utes, or un­til soft. Add the pars­ley stalks, chilli flakes, cin­na­mon and fen­nel seeds to the pan and fry for 2-3 min­utes. Finely grate in the zest from your 2 lemons (re­serve the lemons) and add the tinned toma­toes. Sit the cherry toma­toes, vines and all, on top to poach. Cover, re­duce Serves 2 1 red onion, finely sliced 1tbsp red wine vine­gar 1tsp caster sugar 50g (1¾oz) chorizo sausage, sliced into 4 length­ways ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf pars­ley, leaves picked and finely chopped 4tbsp plain yo­ghurt 1tsp Di­jon mus­tard Grated zest of 1 lemon 4 slices of square brown bread 1 mack­erel fil­let, pin boned 2 hand­fuls of rocket, to serve Olive oil Gen­tly scrunch the onion with the vine­gar and sugar in a bowl, but try to keep its shape. Set aside. Place a fry­ing pan over a medium heat, add the chorizo and cook for 2-3 min­utes each side, or un­til crisp.

For the spicy tomato sauce the heat to low and leave to sim­mer for 15 min­utes.

Mean­while, cook the pasta. While the pasta and sauce are cook­ing away, crack on with the salad. Push the re­served fen­nel hearts and one of the zested lemons through the thinnest slic­ing at­tach­ment on your food pro­ces­sor – or use a man­dolin (or a knife). Tip into a bowl and sea­son with a small pinch of salt and pep­per. Add the re­served fen­nel tops and gen­tly toss with your fin­gers. Put aside un­til you’re ready to serve.

Check the tomato sauce – it should look rich and glossy and the cherry toma­toes should be soft and squashy. Care­fully pick out and dis­card the vine, leav­ing the toma­toes in the pan. Gen­tly stir in the brown crab­meat and let it heat up. Drain the pasta, re­serv­ing a cup­ful of cook­ing water, then gen­tly fold it through the ragu with the white crab­meat, adding a lit­tle of the re­served pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.

Serve the pasta on a lovely big plat­ter with the fen­nel salad bang on top so you can mix and toss the two to­gether as you serve. Chop the re­main­ing lemon into wedges and serve on the side. The mix of flavours is a knock­out!


Re­move the chorizo from the pan, place on a warm plate, cover and set aside. Drain the fat from the pan into a bowl to use later.

Mix the pars­ley with the yo­ghurt, mus­tard and lemon zest. Add a splash of the re­served chorizo fat and mix to­gether, then spread over the 4 slices of bread. Place a fry­ing pan on high heat. With a sharp knife, score the skin of the mack­erel at 1cm (½in) in­ter­vals. Add the fil­let to the hot pan, skin-side down; cook for 2 min­utes or un­til the skin is crisp.

Flip the fish over and cook on the other side for about 1 minute, adding a squeeze of lemon juice be­fore re­mov­ing from the heat. Di­vide the chorizo and mack­erel be­tween two slices of bread, then top with a hand­ful of onions and rocket. Fin­ish with a driz­zle of oil, pop on the bread lids and get stuck in!


To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the gar­lic and chilli flakes and sauté for 5 min­utes. Add the pas­sata and cook over a low heat for 20 min­utes or un­til the sauce thick­ens. Rub salt and pep­per and the rest of the oil onto the chick­ens and cook on a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat for about 10 min­utes each side or un­til they are golden brown and cooked through. Cut each chicken in half and serve with green salad and the de­li­cious spicy sauce.

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