Branzino con asparagi (Sea bass with asparagus)
PUBLISHED: 12:29 12 May 2014
Head chef Sorano Gagamo originates from Naples in Italy, although he’s been in Essex now for the past 10 years. ‘I left a lovely town and sunshine every day in Naples, but I met an English girl and so here I am. My family are here now too, so we have no plans to return!’ Intimofresco is now a traditional a la carte Italian restaurant using authentic, rustic ingredients. ‘Rolled pork belly is our most popular dish with Italian spices on a bed of white mushrooms and spinach. Our monk fish and lobster are also proving very popular.’ Here Sorano shares his recipe for wild sea bass with asparagus.
800g of wild fresh sea bass fillet
2 bunches of giant green asparagus
160g of salted butter
50ml of Pinot Grigio white wine
100ml of fresh double cream
200ml of homemade béchamel sauce (see below)
20g of chopped Italian parsley
20g of ground white pepper
50g of sea salt
A pinch of saffron
1 large lemon
1 tbsp of chopped garlic
Ingredients for béchamel sauce
250ml of milk
2 tbsp of white flour
80g of salted butter
A pinch of sea salt
A pinch of nutmeg
For the sea bass, put 80g of butter to melt in a non-stick pan. When it’s ready, add the sea bass on the skin side first for 3 minutes. Before you turn it over, make sure the skin is golden. Leave for another 3-4 minutes to cook on the other side. Take off and leave on a plate to drain.
For the asparagus, in a deep pan bring to the boil some salted water. Add the asparagus and leave for 2 minutes, then drain.
For the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a pan, then add the flour and stir continuously as you slowly add the milk. When it becomes the consistency of double cream, add the salt and the nutmeg. Now take off the heat and leave to cool.
For the saffron sauce, put 80g of butter to melt in a pan then add the saffron, wine and the double cream. Stir with a wood spoon until it’s mixed then slowly add the béchamel sauce. Stir continuously for another 2 minutes. Take off from the heat and add the parsley, salt and the white pepper.
To serve, using four large plates place firstly the asparagus, then the fish on top. Then top with the hot saffron sauce. Decorate with lemon wedges and buon appetito!
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