Flip Flop Contessa

Jul 10, 2009 at 11:40 am


•    Salt

•    1 pound farfalle, bow ties

•    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

•    5 slices center cut bacon, chopped

•    1 medium onion, chopped

•    2 to 3 grated garlic cloves

•    1 bay leaf

•    12 white mushrooms, thinly sliced

•    1 can San Marzano tomatoes

•    4 (6 to 8-ounce) tilapia fillets

•    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

•    1/2 cup all-purpose flour

•    1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas

•    1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

•    3 tablespoons butter

•    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

•    1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded or torn

Heat a pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al dente.

Heat a deep large skillet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and crisp 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, garlic, bay leaf and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender but not browned, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, crush them up with a wooden spoon and simmer 15 minutes on low heat.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Dust fish with flour and shake off excess.

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook fish 4 minutes on each side.

While fish cooks, stir peas into sauce, return to bubble and stir in mascarpone cheese. Adjust seasoning.

Remove fish from skillet to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Reduce heat to medium and add butter to pan. Brown butter, 2 to 3 minutes, stir in balsamic and simmer 1 to 2 minutes to reduce by half. Pour the brown butter and vinegar over fish.

Drain pasta, toss with sauce and wilt basil into pasta.

Serve fish with pasta alongside.

This recipe is featured from Rachel Rays television show, "30 minute meals," in the episode titled “Food for Thought”.

Talk about an amazing dish. I was so satisfied by the end of this meal that I could barely move!

The nice thing about this dish is that you could serve the fish as one dish for a dinner and the pasta the next night, but if you make both then you will have plenty of great looking left over pasta in your fridge. This, by the way, tastes just as great as when it was cooked the night before.

The fish was simple to make and the balsamic vinegar and butter really added some great flavors that I had never tasted before. The sauce evened out the fishy taste, and the butter went well with the balsamic vinegar by helping tone down the bitterness of the vinegar.

The pasta turned out even better than I expected. I was unable to use a bay leaf since I forgot it at the store and then couldn’t find any around my house, but the dish still ended up having an amazing variety of flavors. I enjoy when a dish incorporates a lot of vegetables, so I won’t feel the need to make a small side salad. The mixture of mushrooms, garlic, onions and peas not only gives the dish a magnificent look from all the colors, but adds a lot of heartiness to the dish. Mascarpone cheese turned out to be a great ingredient that I had never thought of using in a sauce before it added a creaminess to the dish which is just what that sauce needed.

Overall I give this dish two thumps up.