Make Ahead

Pancetta-Wrapped Roasted Cod with Artichoke Pesto

September 11, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is the perfect weeknight surf and turf entree. Bacon (or pancetta) and flaky white fish (cod, halibut, haddock, hake, for example) are opposites that attract eaters who might otherwise turn up their noses at the seafood option on offer. From the cook’s point of view, the pair is well-matched. Bacon is salty to fresh fish’s sweet tone; fat to its lean; and, crispy to its tender. —cheese1227

What You'll Need
  • 6 canned or frozen artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • Leaves from 3 to 4 Italian parsley stems
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 5-ounce pieces of cod, preferably the loin, but you can work with the tail end of the fillet if need be
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 to 8 thinly sliced pieces of pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, place artichoke hearts, pistachios, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley leaves. Process the ingredients until you have a spreadable paste. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (400 if you are using convection heat). Oil the bottom of a glass or ceramic baking dish.
  3. Butterfly each cod loin by running a sharp knife along the side of the fillet, cutting it 3/4 of the way through the piece of fish, but leaving it attached. The cut loins should open like a book. Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper. Turn them so the cut side faces upwards. Spread 1/4 of the pesto inside each loin and close them.
  4. If you are working with the tail ends of the fillet, just season them. Place the skin side (there won’t actually be skin, but you can tell where it used to be -- it’s the uglier side) up and slather the pesto on that side. Fold the fillet in half so the pesto is on the inside.
  5. Unravel the pancetta slices into long strands that look more like American bacon. Take one to two pieces of pancetta and wrap around one pesto-stuffed cod loin. Place the wrapped loins in the prepared baking dish. (Make ahead note: These bundles can sit in the fridge for several hours before cooking.)
  6. When ready to roast, drizzle each loin with olive oil and sprinkle thyme leaves over them. Roast on the middle rack in the hot oven for 12 minutes until the fish is almost cooked through. Turn on the broiler. Broil for 2 minutes to fully crisp up the pancetta.
  7. Let the fish rest out of the oven for two minutes. I tend to serve this with lemon wedges and roasted broccoli (and a crisp white wine!)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jaxmccaff
  • Andrea D.
    Andrea D.
  • Burf
  • cheese1227
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.

8 Reviews

erdvmanderson June 21, 2021
Easy to assemble and a tasty way to prepare cod! The artichoke pesto was especially tasty. I served this with roasted broccoli and risotto.
Jaxmccaff April 10, 2021
This was really delicious. I ended up using haddock and cod based on what I had in the freezer. Both were really good with the pesto. My pancetta wrapping wasn’t as eloquent as the picture but it got the job done! ☺️ Served with roasted broccoli. Will make this again!
Andrea D. December 25, 2019
I had swapped pancetta for bacon but it never cooked all the way through. Thinking the bacon was too thick of a cut and/or my oven rack should have been placed higher up for the broiling period. The pesto paired with the cod was delightful! Would like to try again with proper cut of pork and correct oven placement.
rparagus December 28, 2017
Would it be possible to use prosciutto instead of pancetta?
cheese1227 December 28, 2017
Yes, that is an easy swap. Especially a very thinly shaved prosciutto.
rparagus December 28, 2017
Chris C. April 10, 2016
Do you think I could put this in a smoker? My pellet smoker will get to 450, or would it be better at a lower temp for longer like 350? Do you think the smokey flavor would be good or bad for it?
Burf October 29, 2014
The flavor on the pesto was AWESOME! The timing didn't work for my oven. I took off the pancetta (it was definitely done), threw it back in the oven, and covered all of my mistakes with the crisped pancetta at the end. Will DEFINITELY make this again