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Aldo Zilli’s Father’s Day Recipe

San Carlo Cicchetti presents a red mullet recipe for Father’s Day

Published on June 14th 2013.

Aldo Zilli’s Father’s Day Recipe

“I'M the youngest of nine children," says Aldo Zilli. "For me, growing up on a farm, food was always in abundance, in season, organic and cooked by my mum – delicious.

When I turned eleven, we moved to a seaside village in Abruzzo, on the Adriatic sea, where, to my father’s delight there was plenty of fish available; he was a very happy man

"However, when it came to feeding my dad, he was the biggest critic I’ve ever known in the food industry. My mum had a big task on her hands as it was (cooking for nine of us) and always had to cook something separate for my father, as he was very particular about his food. 

Aldo ZilliAldo Zilli"Back then, simplicity was key when it came to cooking. However, my father didn’t like to eat a lot of meat and considering we were living on a farm, my mum had very little else to cook for him, so it was always roasted vegetables made into frittata or grilled on the BBQ outside.

"When I turned eleven, we moved to a seaside village in Abruzzo, on the Adriatic sea, where, to my father’s delight there was plenty of fish available; he was a very happy man.

"For Father’s Day, in his honour, I’ve recreated one of my father’s favourite fish dishes; I’ll also be making this at home for my children on Sunday.

"Red mullet is one of the most under-rated fish with it being so versatile to cook. Try it for yourself and see! My expert tip – for even more flavour, add zest of orange and some extra virgin oil. Serve with a chilled glass of Gavi and enjoy.” 

Here's Aldo Zilli's recipe.

Involtini di mullo alle erbe (Red Mullet with Herb Stuffing)

Serves 4


20 red mullet or red snapper fillets (with skin)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves

1 small onion

3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

8 sage leaves, finely chopped

10 thin slices raw ham, halved

125ml/4fl oz white wine

4 tbsp breadcrumbs


Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F/Gas 6 and grease a baking dish with olive oil. Wash the fish fillets, pat them dry, and season with salt and pepper. Lay them on a platter and sprinkle them with lemon juice.

Mince the garlic and onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the garlic, onion and herbs. Remove from the stove and leave to cool slightly.Place the fillets skin-side down on a work surface.

Spread some of the herb and onion mixture over each one then lay a half slice of ham on top. Roll up the fillets and secure with wooden skewers.

Place roulades in the baking dish side by side. Bring the wine to the boil then pour it over the fish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and drizzle on the remaining oil.

Bake for 15 minutes

This exclusive Father's Day dish will be served at the award winning Cicchetti and San Carlo restaurants in Manchester from Friday until Sunday if you'd like to have it cooked for you.

To reserve your table at San Carlo call 0161 834 6226. Reservations are available from 7pm at Cicchetti, contact
0161 839 2233.

Aldo's FatherAldo Zilli (centre back) with his mother, father, brothers and sisters, taken in Abruzzo

Aldos Red Mullet With Herb Stuffing For Fathers Day 2013Aldos Red Mullet With Herb Stuffing For Fathers Day 2013

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