Jamie Oliver's smoky pancetta cod

Smoky pancetta cod.
Smoky pancetta cod. Photo: David Loftus

This dish will change fish suppers forever! What I love about this recipe is it’s a really foolproof way to cook fish perfectly, every time. And with just five ingredients and a total cook time of about 15 minutes, this one is about beautiful flavour, fast.


8 rashers of higher-welfare smoked pancetta

2 x 150g white fish fillets, such as cod, skin off, pin-boned, from sustainable sources

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

1x 250g sachet or can of cooked lentils

200g spinach 


1. Lay out 4 rashers of pancetta, slightly overlapping them. Place a piece of cod on top, generously season with black pepper, then roll and wrap in the pancetta, and repeat.

2. Place in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and cook for 8 minutes, turning occasionally, adding the rosemary for the last 2 minutes.

3. Remove the fish to a plate. Toss the lentils into the pan with 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and push to one side to reheat for 1 minute and pick up all that residual flavour, while you quickly wilt the spinach with a splash of water alongside.

4. Taste, season to perfection with sea salt and pepper, and divide both between your plates.

5. Sit the wrapped cod on top of the lentils with the rosemary, and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.


Easy swaps:

• I've used cod, but you could absolutely try this method with haddock, pollock, salmon or trout. If you can get to your local fishmonger, why not ask them for a recommendation of what's in season, and at its best?

• Smoked streaky bacon or prosciutto would be delicious in place of the pancetta, if that's what you can get your hands on.

• The technique of reheating and flavouring the lentils would certainly work with tinned beans or chickpeas, too.

• Swap in any leafy greens in place of the spinach.

Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On, Fridays 7:30pm only on 10.