I first encountered this delicious dish in a cookbook called The Recipes That Made A Million, by Franco Lagatolla, published in 1978. Lagatolla ran a few swanky Italian restaurants in the smartest parts of London in the 1960s. There is lots of name-dropping featuring the likes of Princess Margaret, Gregory Peck, and Frank Sinatra. The fact that I still have it after multiple house moves is testament to the fact that it has some really good traditional Italian recipes in it. The beef olives for one, and an amazingly good albeit labour-intensive lasagne featuring meatballs with pine nuts, sultanas, and lemon zest in them.
This recipe is clearly not traditional Italian, but it’s one of the most sauce-stained pages in the book. I hadn’t made it for many years, decades even, due to lack of proper smoked haddock in France. Of course when I did buy some, I wasn’t at home but in the UK, so I recreated the recipe based on my memory and a bit of googling. Hence this is a bit different from the original but just as good, and quite easy to make. Well, if you don’t count the poached eggs, which must be proper ones, not done in an egg poacher. Cheffy hint: poach them in advance, set aside in a bowl of warm water, and have a pan of boiling water ready to reheat them for 30 seconds when you are ready to serve.
I didn’t measure anything, so quantities are vague depending on how many people you are feeding. Start with the assumption of about 200 g of haddock per person and work from there. No photo either, sorry!