Modigliani white fish fillets with a mussel and saffron sauce

I went with a friend to the Modigliani exhibition at the Tate Modern. Our tickets included lunch at the museum’s Level 9 restaurant, with its stunning views over the Thames. It was a sparkling day in February (yes, really), with spring really feeling as if it might be round the corner, but this recipe is easy to make all year round.

The saffron in this recipe gives it a gorgeous, sunset, saffron colour – I’m sure Modigliani would have approved.


white fish fillets recipe
Modigliani’s Bride and Groom…lots of gorgeous saffron colours….


These fish fillets go especially well with Peppers Stuffed with Apple and Mascarpone.


Recipe for Modigliani white fish fillets with a mussel and saffron sauce

Serves 2


  • 2 white fish fillets (about 200g/7 oz) – frozen, the type you can cook from frozen
  • 60-125g/2-4 oz cooked, frozen shelled mussels
  • 120ml/½ cup double cream
  • 4 tbsps/¼ cup/60 ml rosato vermouth
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
  • Few strands of saffron
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Defrost the mussels and measure out the cream to get it to room temperature.
  2. Peel and chop the onion.
  3. Warm some olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan and fry the fish fillets, skin side down, as per the packet instructions (it’s likely to be about eight minutes) with the chopped onion surrounding them. Halfway through turn them…slosh in a bit more olive oil and add the garlic with the salt. At the end of the process turn them back again.
  4. Grind over some pepper.
  5. Add the mussels to the frying pan and warm through.
  6. Pour in the vermouth, and allow it to spread around the pan.
  7. Add the cream and the saffron. Mix in gently – you don’t want to break up the delicate fish fillets.
  8. Serve with a flourish!



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