Linguine con guance di coda di rospo

Linguine with monkfish cheeks, tomatoes, chilli and lemon

Monkfish cheeks are often seen on the fishmonger’s counter and they should never be ignored. They can be coated in egg and breadcrumbs and fried, or used to make this sauce.


  • 300 g/10½ oz monkfish cheeks
  • 350 g/12 oz linguine
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
  • ½ tsp crushed dried chillies
  • grated rind of ½ unwaxed lemon and a few drops of the juice
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp capers


Remove any skin from the monkfish and cut the fish into 2cm/¾ inch cubes.

Cook the linguine in boiling salted water.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic, anchovy fillets, oregano, chilli and lemon rind and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, fry for 3–4 minutes and then throw in the monkfish and sauté for 3 minutes. Squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice and season with salt. If the pasta is not ready, remove the pan from the heat, or the monkfish will become dry.

When the pasta is ready, drain and turn it into the frying pan. Add the capers and the remaining oil and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes. Serve at once. No Parmesan is needed for this sauce.