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Spaghetti with Ligurian Pesto & Pan-Seared Rockfish

April 11, 2008

Spaghetti with Ligurian Pesto & Pan-Seared Rockfish

For Two:
140 grams spaghetti
1 large bunch basil
olive oil
1/3rd cup pine nuts
8 cloves garlic
1 lemon
1/2 lb Rockfish Fillet (or substitute sea bass or red snapper)
salt
pepper

Start a large pot of water boiling, meanwhile using your food processor to combine washed basil, pine nuts, juice of one lemon, several tablespoons of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste to make the Ligurian-style pesto (basil grows like a weed in Liguria, and the Italian Riveria region is the origin of this now popular tapanade).

When the water is ready for the spaghetti, add 2 T salt to the water. Add spaghetti, cook AL DENTE. The pasta should retail some stiffness when it is finished (when you roll it into a ball on a spoon, the last inch of the noodle should stick out defiantly).

After adding the spaghetti to the pan, heat your non stick skillet to medium high, add olive oil, and then your lightly salt & peppered fish fillet. Cook most of the way with the top side down, then flip to finish.

Drain the pasta, put back in the saucepot and add several tablespoons of your fresh pesto, mixing well. Serve in a ball (use a serving two-prong fork to roll it into one) in a soup or pasta bowl. Cut the fish fillet in half and serve on top with lemon slices.

Wine: Vermentino from Liguria (hard to find! Will say “Cinque Terre” most likely), Sardegna, or Tuscany (in that order of preference), or a nice Sauvignon blanc or Pinot Grigio-Tocai blend.

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