Hot Headed Cod
Hot Headed Cod

Hot Headed Cod

Arrabiata means ‘angry’ in Italian, due to the fiery red pepper chillies traditionally used in the sauce of the same name. In this recipe, use just a pinch of chilli flakes for some warmth, so it's just hot-headed rather than furious, and balance out with some zesty lemon couscous.

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Total Time
40 Minutes
2 tbsp of olive oil
3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 1cm-thick strips
1 red onion, cut into 1cm-thick slices
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes pinch of dried chilli flakes
4 skinless cod fillets (about 500g in total)
15g of fresh basil, finely shredded sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Step 1

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a high heat until very hot, then carefully add the peppers and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, or until they have just started to char and blacken at the edges, then turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic. Cook for 3–5 minutes until softened.

Step 2

Add the tomatoes, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper and give everything a good stir. Pop the lid on and cook for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Gently nestle the fish fillets into the sauce. Put the lid back on and cook over a medium heat for 14–18 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Step 4

Sprinkle over the basil, pushing some of it into the sauce if you can, then serve.


The cooking time for fish fillets can vary a lot depending on their thickness: thinner fillets may cook more quickly and break up in the sauce if cooked for longer. Just check and keep an eye on them and remove from the heat when cooked through.

Frozen fish fillets are almost always cheaper than fresh. Use frozen fish and adjust the cooking time according to the pack instructions (or defrost first if recommended on the pack). You could also use a cheaper white fish like basa.

The heat of dried chilli flakes varies a lot. Start with just pinch and if you want to add more as the sauce cooks, you can.

Recipe courtesy of What's For Dinner? In One Pot by Sarah Rossi, published by Harper Collins. For more of Sarah's recipes visit

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