Monday, 13 August 2007

Fish & Pasta with Greens in Saffron-Paprika Broth

I originally posted this filed under non-Ontario dishes, but I have reconsidered. There is no reason not to use an Ontario white lake fish, supposing you can get it (I haven't found a local source yet) and the rest of the ingredients bar the seasonings should also be available as local product.

It's another pasta dish I tend to make when I don't really feel like cooking, and I didn't feel much like cooking. It's very quick to put together, I can do it without thinking, and I definitely consider it comfort food. You can use whatever greens are in season. And of course, it's a contribution to Presto Pasta Night at Once Upon a Feast, an excellent little carb-fest. Check it out.

This was a bit of a clean-out-the-freezer session for me, so as well as using frozen sole I used frozen Brussels sprouts that I had bought in May just before fresh local green veggies started becoming available, and which have been languishing there ever since. It was actually not too bad; not bad at all. I sliced up the Brussels sprouts while they were still frozen, which I think helped them a lot - no problems with soggy uncooked middles while the outsides turn grey.

2 servings
25 minutes - 10 minutes prep time

Fish and Pasta with Greens in a Saffron-Paprika Broth
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
4 cups (1 quart/litre) chicken stock

300 to 400 g fillets of white fish of your choice

250 g pasta
whatever quantity of prepared green vegetable for 2 people you think appropriate

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

Meanwhile, peel and chop the onion, and prepare your green veggie. This is so flexible about what kind you put in - I have used spinach, chard, beet greens, broccoli, frozen peas, cabbage, and now frozen Brussels sprouts, which I sliced in thirds or fourths - that it is very hard to give any quantity. You would, of course, need more of the leafy greens that cook down than of more solid things like peas and broccoli.

Sauté the onion in the oil until soft and slightly browned. Add the chicken stock, with the saffron, crumbled up a bit, and the paprika. Bring to a boil and add the thawed fish fillets. When it begins to bubble again, reduce to a simmer and simmer until the fish is done - usually not a lot more than 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Break up the fish a little. Keep warm until the pasta and vegetables are ready.

When the pasta is half to almost done, add the vegetable to the pasta. It will of course depend on exactly what pasta and what vegetable you are using, but obviously the idea is that they should be done at the same time - always a little nerve-wracking while you wait to see if you got it right, but most veggies will give you a leeway of 2 or 3 minutes.

Drain them well when done, and put them in a tureen (or divide between individual bowls if you prefer) and mix in the fish and broth.


Ruth Daniels said...

What a lovely looking dish. It's been way to hot here of late, but tonight has turned cool and it's supposed to rain. Sounds like this might be the perfect lunch for tomorrow.

Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Anna said...

mmmmm, this is exactly what i feel like for dinner tonight.