120g smoky bacon, chopped

A knob of butter

1 large white onion, peeled and finely diced

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons plain flour

1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika

500ml milk

300ml fish stock or water

200ml cream

1 large Desiree or other all purpose potato, peeled and cut into pea-sized pieces

1 bunch of thyme

2 bay leaves

A couple of sprigs of marjoram, oregano

Ground black pepper to taste

1 piece of blue eye cod, around 800g, skin removed

24 large clams or 40 vongole (purged)


I like to use a wide, flat flame-proof casserole dish that will comfortably take all of your ingredients. It needs to have a lid, too.

Place your bacon on the bottom of the dish and add a knob of butter. Place on a low heat and allow the fat to render out of the bacon, while letting on the bacon take on a nice golden colour. This should take around 5 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the fat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft, then add the flour and paprika, cooking this for 5 minutes.

Add the liquids, a little at a time, to avoid lumps forming. When all the liquid has been incorporated, add the diced potato, thyme, bay leaves, marjoram, oregano and a good grinding of black pepper. Leave seasoning with salt until the end as the clams will add their own saltiness.

Once you have a gentle simmer, carefully add the cod in one piece, then place the clams around the fish. The fillet should be just covered with liquid. Cover with a lid.

Move the contents around from time to time, to ensure even cooking. Turn off the heat just before the fish is fully cooked. Depending on the thickness of the fillet, it should take you around 8-12 minutes and should feel bouncy to the touch.

Serve at the table with a sprinkle of chopped flat leaf parsley and croutons on top.