3. Jul, 2017

Spaghetti with monkfish and prawns


The common name “monkfish” is used to describe several distinct species of fish, including fish in the genera Lophius and Squatina. As a general rule, the fish which share this common name have a number of traits in common as well, including a regrettable level of ugliness. These bulgy, slightly flattened fish tend to live near the seafloor, leading biologists to classify them as benthic or bottom dwelling fish, and they are found primarily in the Atlantic Ocean.

One distinguishing characteristic of monkfish is the head, which is broad and flattened with large lips. Monkfish also have several filaments which project from their heads; one of the filaments has a bulb of flesh, which is designed to act as bait to attract smaller fish. When fish approach, the monkfish snaps them up, typically swallowing them whole. These filaments are believed to be residual remainders of the upper fin of these fish, and a number of benthic fish use such tactics to attract dinner.

When we say monkfish, we really just mean monkfish tail, I normally use the head to make fish stock

Well let’s get down to this fantastic Portuguese dish of Spaghetti with monkfish and prawns.Very pleasant, easy to prepare and ideal for a Summer lunch and that’s what I cooked or yesterday’s Sunday lunch. I started the preparations a bit later than usual but the weather was so nice after one week of rain and coolish weather.(my dear friends Alberto, Catharina and little daughter Chante visited me and it was a petty the weather was so winter like. ) A seafood pasta stew is a quick and nutritious meal, mainly because fish is rich in EPA and DHA, which are absorbed directly, instead of being converted in the body from Omega 3 when present in supplements or other ingredients like chia seeds. Regular consumption of seafood and fish prevents conditions like depression, mental stress and tiredness.

I love monkfish because it has a great meaty texture, referred to as “poor man’s lobster” for its sweet, dense, lobster-like meat. Monkfish doesn’t flake when cooked, it has more of a texture like scallop. The raw flesh is a pale greyish color, and it is covered with a membrane that should be removed before cooking; cooked meat is white.


  • 800 grams monkfish

  • 400 grams  prawns

  • 300 grams  Spaghetti

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 large onion

  • 50 ml  olive oil

  • 120ml o fish stock

  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes

  • Coriander (to taste)

  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)


Place the monkfish in a saucepan with water seasoned with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low heat and cook about 10 to 15 minutes. When the monkfish is cooked, drain it, remove the skin and the bones and cut the fish in pieces; set aside. Place the prawns in another saucepan with about 1 liter water and boil over high heat. When starts boiling, reduce to low heat and cook for 3 minutes. When the shrimps are cooked, drain with a skimmer and place on a plate. Allow to cool slightly and peel them. Reserve 1/2 liter of the cooking water of both the monk fish and prawns.

In a saucepan, place the chopped onion, the chopped garlics and the olive oil. Stir and saute over low heat until the onion starts to turn golden brown. Add the peeled tomatoes cut into small pieces and cook until the tomatoes start to break down, stirring occasionally. Then, pour the shrimp cooking water seasoned with a little salt and boil over medium-high heat. When it starts to boil, reduce to medium-low heat, add the pasta and simmer about 8 to 10 minutes. When the pasta is almost cooked, add the monkfish and the peeled shrimps, stir and turn off the heat. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve.