Pollock is again much underrated, probably because, even more than most fish, it has a very short shelf-life and needs to be super-fresh for you to enjoy its mild, sweet flavour. Its flesh can also have a rather grey colour, which doesn’t appeal on the slab.
In a heavy-based pan, sweat the shallots in the olive oil until soft, then add the anchovies and continue cooking until these dissolve. Increase the heat and throw in the tomatoes, which will soften quickly over a high heat. Add the garlic, fennel and coriander seeds, the dried herbs and the chilli flakes. Cover and simmer for 30–40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After this time, check the consistency of the sauce: it should be like that of thick vinaigrette, but not too soupy. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, add the capers and gnocchi, and place the pollock fillets on top. Cover again and heat for another 10 minutes. This should cook the fish and heat the gnocchi through.
To serve, carefully lift the fish out and place on a warm plate. Spoon the vinaigrette into shallow soup plates, flake the pollock and scatter it over, then drizzle with olive oil and serve. Some young basil shoots would go well with this.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.