Fish has been an important ingredient in my healthy eating journey and my Cod with Chickpeas in a Mediterranean Ragu is one of my favourite ways to enjoy it. It’s hearty and warming but quick to make, warming in the winter but light enough for even the hottest summer evenings.
Cod with Chickpeas is cooked in a Mediterranean style ragu, full of fresh vegetables and hearty chickpeas. Using canned tomatoes means you don’t have to simmer the ragu for hours. The vegetables should be lightly cooked and still retain their shape. Whilst they should not be crunchy, you definitely don’t want them overcooked.
This mildly seasoned dish is perfect for all the family, and I’ve found that even those who aren’t that keen on fish really enjoy it. You can use any firm white fish for this recipe although I generally use cod loins or haddock. Please use seafood which has been sustainably fished. I also make my choice of white fish use based on what is available from the list of sustainable fish in my area.
Mis en place (or having everything ready before you begin) is really important with this recipe, as it comes together so quickly. I chop all the vegetables up first and get everything out ready to go before I begin.
It’s also a good idea to boil water ready to cook rice or make couscous, my two favourite sides to serve with Cod with Chickpeas in a Mediterranean Ragu. If you put the rice on to cook as you start the recipe, it usually means it will be ready on time. If you are making couscous, put the hot stock over the couscous while you are simmering the ragu. As long as you keep it covered it should be the perfect temperature to serve just as this cod is finished. Mashed or crushed new potatoes work well as a side too, but I generally save those for cooler days.
One final tip – be careful not to overcook the fish. Cod takes very little time to cook, especially immersed in sauce as it is in this recipe. Ten minutes really should be about right, unless your fillets of fish are very thick indeed. Fish is cooked when it flakes lightly with a fork.
Cod with Chickpeas in a Mediterranean Ragu – Printable Recipe
- 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
- 2 leeks, finely sliced, or 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled (or 2 teaspoons Very Lazy Garlic)
- 1 red pepper, cored, de-seeded and cut in chunks about one inch square-ish
- 1 large zucchini (courgette), cut in half moons
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
- 1 can (about 14 ounces or 400 grams) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (about 14 ounces or 400 grams) chopped or diced tomatoes
- 1 large cod loin or 3 to 4 smaller fillets (you can also use haddock, halibut or any firm white fish)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- ¼ chopped spring onions (scallions), optional
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or pan with a lid over medium heat.
- Sauté the leeks or onion until they begin to soften.
- Stir in the garlic, red pepper, zucchini, basil, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Cook for a couple of minutes until they begin to soften a little.
- Add the chickpeas and the tomatoes.
- Fill the tomato can a quarter full with water and pour that in as well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Nestle the cod loin or fillets in with the tomatoey ragu.
- Sprinkle about half of the spring onions (scallions), over the top (if using).
- Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes or until the fish is opaque and cooked through.
- Serve garnished with parsley and remaining spring onions.