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Pan Fried Cod Puttanesca close up photo on a white plate

Tarragon and Chive Pan Fried Cod with Fettuccine Puttanesca

Simple bites of pan fried cod served with a quick cooking fresh tomato puttanesca sauce and pasta. An incredibly simple and delicious weekday meal.
Course Seafood
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Barry C. Parsons


  • 1 ½ pounds cod cut into small evenly sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the Puttanesca Sauce

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 6 large fresh tomatoes chopped or a dozen Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste or two chopped anchovy fillets optional
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 ½ tbsp dried tarragon
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped capers optional
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • pinch dried chili flakes or crushed chili paste to taste
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives


  1. Heat a large sauté pan or cast iron pan on a setting between medium and medium high heat.
  2. Lightly season the cod pieces with salt and pepper and toss them with the fresh chives and tarragon.
  3. Mix together the flour, black pepper and salt to form a dredge for the fish.
  4. Dredge the cod pieces in the flour mixture. Cover the bottom of the heated pan with vegetable oil and let it heat up for a minute before frying the cod pieces to golden brown: only a few minutes per side, turning only once.

To prepare the Puttanesca sauce

  1. Add the garlic and olive oil to a separate large sauté pan over medium to medium high heat. Sauté for only a minute to soften the garlic but don't let it brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes, anchovy paste, tarragon, chives, brown sugar, capers, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
  3. Simmer together, stirring occasionally for only about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes break down a little and a sauce forms. The tomatoes will still be quite chunky but most of the liquid should simmer off. In the last minute or two of cooking add the olives.
  4. Serve cod pieces and sauce over fresh fettuccine and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.