Begin by making the fish stock. Take a large, heavy bottomed pan and place it over a high heat. Add a splash of olive oil and then the gurnard bones (ask the fishmonger to remove the gills) and cook until golden brown. Try not to disturb the bones or break them up too much in the pan for a clear stock

  • olive oil, for frying


Pour in the fish stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about half an hour. After half an hour remove from the heat and leave it to rest for a further 10 minutes

  • 2l fish stock, good quality


Pass the liquid through a sieve into a smaller pan and return to a low heat. Add the saffron and check for seasoning. The stock needs to be correctly seasoned as once the rice goes in it’s hard to adjust


To make the aioli, place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl with the lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt. Whisk vigorously and then very slowly add the olive oil, whilst continuously whisking. The oil will emulsify with the yolks to create a glossy aioli – if it begins to split, add a dash of cold water which should bring it back together again. (This can also be done in a food processor or with an electric whisk or hand blender)


Preheat an oven to 190°C/gas mark 5


Place a large saucepan over a medium–low heat with a glug of olive oil. Add the diced onion, garlic, pepper and bay leaves with a pinch of salt. Sweat down slowly for about 15 minutes – you want the vegetables to be soft without too much colouring


Add the diced tomato and continue cooking for a further 5–10 minutes


The next steps happen very quickly, so make sure you have an ovenproof dish to hand and make sure the stock is hot. Season the gurnard fillets with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat on the soffritto and add the rice, followed immediately by the wine and 480g of hot stock

  • 1 gurnard, filleted and pin boned (ask your fishmonger to do this) – keep the bones and any trim for the stock
  • 220g of bomba rice, or arborio rice
  • 125ml of white wine


Give it one quick stir then carefully tip the whole lot into the ovenproof dish and place it straight into your preheated oven for 10 minutes


After ten minutes take the dish out and lay the gurnard fillets on top then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes


Take the dish from the oven and set aside to sit for 10 more minutes (it will be way too hot to eat immediately). Serve up with a big dollop of aioli sprinkled with paprika and parsley, with lemon wedges on the side