As a boy I spent many great years travelling to Anglesey where my folks had their holiday caravan. Between the Holy Isle and Anglesey sits Four Mile Bridge that separates the two islands. The name of the bridge is somehow confusing and unjustified since the crossing is rather small…

One of many highlights of my lazy summer holidays at Anglesey was sitting at the wall of that bridge as the high tide was coming and watching young sea bass chasing sand eels. It was there I caught my first bass at the age of 11.

This recipe is a tribute to those childhood memories of sunburns, sand eels and fishing with my dad.


  • 2 x 125g British sea bass fillets (scaled, fins removed, pin boned by local fish monger)
  • good drizzle of olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 500ml fresh chicken stock (or a stock cube with 500ml water)
  • 2 tbsn olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 30g finely chopped chorizo
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 130g risotto rice (Carnaroli or Arborio)
  • 100ml of dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ of lemon freshly juiced
  • 1 tbsn mascarpone cheese
  • 30g washed Cavolo Nero (black cabbage) stalk removed, half finely
  • shredded and half left in long strips
  • Parmesan shavings for garnish


Bring stock to boil.

Heat olive oil and butter in a pan.  Add onion, garlic, diced chorizo and bay leaf and sweat for about 4 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened add rice and turn the heat up slightly. Fry for 1min constantly stirring, then add wine, saffron and keep stirring until the alcohol evaporates and wine has been absorbed into the rice.

At this point set your timer for 10 minutes as a guide.

Add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt.  Now turn down the heat to simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly. Keep adding ladlefuls of hot stock, constantly stirring the rice allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.

At 10 minutes (refer to your set timer) add the Cavolo Nero  as this will take 3-4 minutes to cook. Total cooking time for the risotto is 13-14 minutes.

Taste the rice. When ready it should be soft yet have a slight bite in the centre (al dente). If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.

Remove from heat and allow to settle for a couple of minutes.

 Heat a non-stick frying pan until it is hot but not smoking. Add a good drizzle of olive oil. Season both sides of the sea bass with salt and pepper, then place skin side down in the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes on each side, remove and place on a piece of kitchen roll.

Meanwhile, add the mascarpone to the resting risotto and stir in until completely absorbed.  Add lemon juice and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the risotto on the plate, carefully top with the sea bass and decorate with a couple of parmesan shavings.