Coda di rospo con patate

Monkfish with Potatoes

Monkfish, also called anglerfish, is particularly popular in the regions along the Adriatic coast, the Veneto, the Marches, and the Abruzzo. The rosemary, garlic, and chile pepper are a giveaway that the Abruzzo is the source of this particular recipe. Italians like to cook monkfish on the bone, but many markets elsewhere carry only fillets. Some versions of this recipe suggest wrapping the fish in a layer of pancetta. Thick pieces of sea bass may be used in place of monkfish.


  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled, parboiled, and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds monkfish fillet, skinned
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Pinch of chile pepper flakes (optional)
  • Fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • Lemon wedges for serving


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a baking dish large enough to hold the fish.

Arrange a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Top with the monkfish, garlic, rosemary sprigs, and the chile pepper flakes (if using). Add a squeeze of lemon juice if you like. Pour on the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Roast the fish for about 40 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue to roast until the potatoes are tender and the fish is opaque when a knife tip is inserted in the center, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Serve with lemon wedges.


Select a white from the Adriatic coast. From the Abruzzo, try Trebbiano d’Abruzzo from Valentini or Nicodemi. From the Marches, look for Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi or Verdicchio di Matelica from Santarelli, Umani Ronchi, Colle Stefano, or Vallerusa Bond. The assertive seasoning of this dish means that a red wine such as Corvina would complement it as well.