Pasta with Cheap Fish Ragù

Frozen pollock or pollack (Dutch: koolvis, French: colin) is amazingly cheap. It comes in unnatural-looking rectangular blocks. At a local supermarket it is 1.75 euros for 400 grams (that is $2.37/lb). It is “frozen at sea”, which means it is caught on big ships on which it is cleaned, filleted and frozen. Pollock is so cheap because it is quite bland in flavor, so I thought it would be nice to see if I could make something tasty out of it by turning it into a ragù to serve over pasta. It was not as good as when made with fresh red mullet, but it was tasty enough and at a fraction of the cost.


For 2 or 3 servings

400 grams (.9 lb) pollock, defrosted

1 small onion, 1 small carrot, and 1 celery stick, minced

1 can (400 grams/14 oz) diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine, optional

150 or 225 grams (.3 or .5 lb) short pasta of your choice


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan. Add the minced holy trinity of carrot, onion, and celery, and season with salt.

Stir over medium heat until the vegetables start to turn golden.

Deglaze with some white wine (optional), and stir.

Add a can of diced tomatoes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Simmer the sauce, stirring now and then, until it is nice and thick.

Cut the fish into strips and season with salt. Allow the salt to penetrate into the fish while the sauce is cooking.

In the meantime, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until it is al dente.

When the sauce is nice and thick, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir to incorporate the fish.

Cook for about 5 minutes over low heat, stirring gently to prevent breaking up the fish too much.

When the pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce.

Toss until the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Serve at once on preheated plates.


When you cook octopus sous-vide, a lot of liquid is released. This liquid is very flavorful, so it would be a waste to discard it. It is perfect to make risotto. This octopus and chorizo risotto is a flavor bomb, with great depth of flavor.


3 thoughts on “Pasta with Cheap Fish Ragù

  1. Boo–hoo!! Can’t find pollock or any of its brothers or sisters at the Sydney Fish Market or other fish outlets at the moment . . . . not giving up till I find the cheapest and tastiest alternate as soon as practicable and copy your recipe . . . my kind of fast meal preparation 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

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