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grilling Italian
Monkfish in Prosciutto with Pesto Fregola Default

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So delicious, with crisp, salty, porky prosciutto enveloping the mild, tender fish. Refrigerating the fish before cooking it helps make its “shirt” of prosciutto adhere. Nutty, flavorful fregola tossed with pesto adds another dimension.

Yield: Serves 6


  • 2 pieces monkfish tail (bone and skin removed, and all of the nasty stuff too; about 2½ pounds total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 pound fregola , acini di pepe, or orzo
  • 1 cup Pesto
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted until golden brown


Rinse the monkfish and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange half of the prosciutto slices on a work surface, overlapping them to make a rectangle large enough to enclose one of the monkfish tails (use enough prosciutto to enclose the monkfish securely; you may have a couple of slices left over). Lay the fish in the center and fold the prosciutto up and around it to make a tight roulade. If necessary, secure with butcher’s twine or toothpicks. Repeat with the second tail.

Set seam side down on a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Place a piastra  on the grill to preheat.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Set up an ice water bath.

Drop the fregola into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain and immediately refresh in the ice bath; when it is cool, drain the fregola extremely well.

In a large bowl, toss the fregola with the pesto and red peppers. Set aside.

Brush each prosciutto-wrapped tail with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place on the piastra and cook for 6 minutes, unmoved. Gently roll each one over 90 degrees and cook for 4 minutes. Repeat twice, for a total cooking time of about 18 minutes; the internal temperature should be about 150°F in the thickest part of the fish. Transfer to a platter and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Cut the tails into ¾-inch slices and arrange nicely on top of the fregola. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with the pine nuts, and serve.

© 2008 Mario Batali

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, but does not include Pesto. For nutritional information on Pesto, please follow the link above.

613kcal (31%)
39mg (4%)
52mg (87%)
83mcg RAE (3%)
69mg (23%)
1349mg (56%)
3g (16%)
19g (29%)
2mg (13%)

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