It's away from the church bells ringing, in the secure retreat of a kitchen in Rome that this dish was born. I got to the market late in the morning, so I could get the best bargain before the fishmonger stall would shut down. What's gratifying about this fishy creation is the nutty pistachios contrasting with the crispy mortadella filling. They say fish is good for you, but for me, it's the indulgent accompaniment with cream and mortadella that makes it excellent. The origins of Mortadella Bologna are to be found in the territories of the ancient Etruscan area (nearby Rome), rich with oak trees that provided piquant acorns to the many local wild pigs. The Bologna Archaeological Museum houses the first evidence of what is claimed to be a producer of mortadella : on a Roman pillar are depicted on the one hand seven grazing piglets and on the other a mortar with a pestle . The mortar was used by the Romans to pound and knead the pork with salt and spices. This suggests that the name of the sausage comes from mortarium. This dish is sweet succulence perfectly combined with salty freshness.
The video below was made in collaboration with a French production. Even though the instructions are in French, it wouldn't hurt to follow the video when making this recipe, especially for the step where the mortadella filling is involved.
Wild saithe fillet stuffed with mortadella Ingredients: (serves 2 people)
- 100 gr. creamy soft spreadable cheese
- 30 gr. fresh whipping cream
- 50 gr. dairy unsalted butter
- a sprinkle of ground pepper
- a sprinkle of fine salt
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50 gr. mortadella Bologna
- 50 gr. pistachio nut kernels
- 200 gr. saithe or coley fillet
- 50 gr. crispy babyleaf salad
In a bowl, place the creamy cheese, add the whipping cream, a hint of salt and the olive oil. Whisk until obtaining a smooth preparation.
Make an incision down the centre of the fish from the head to the tail, then make a cut in order to create a pocket for the filling. It is important that you don't break the fish, so take your time and do this process delicately.
Cut the mortadella into thin slices. Fill the fish with mortadella and cover it. Plant a pic to maintain it still. Dust with the pistachios and add the salt. In a pan, melt the butter and cook the stuffed fish 2 minutes per side. Serve it with bubbles of cream cheese and the salad.
With love and pistachios,