I want to share a recipe I worked up a few weeks ago and have made a couple of times.
This is great for folks who need to jam some more greens into dinners. This is also pretty easy to do and goes fairly quickly. Remember babes, anything you don’t personally like you can swap out.
This is what we’re making:
[image description: photo of pasta in a pan with lots of greens and speckles of spices.
Great things about this recipe:
- Make it vegetarian/vegan by omitting the fish.
- Make it heartier by adding other proteins rather than the fish. Use leftover chicken, pork, use tofu. You want your flavor to be something that will go well with a garlicky flavor.
- You can use leftover salad with any greens. I’ve done this with spinach, mixed spring greens. Use boxed or bagged salad for less spoon use.
- Other spoon conserving tips. Parboil your pasta when you have the energy. That means just boil it until it is almost ready, remove from heat. I cool it and put it in the fridge. That way when it is time to bring it all together, BAM into the pot it goes. The pasta finishes cooking and tastes great. Use whatever pasta you want.
- Chopped garlic. I very frequently either buy peeled garlic from Safeway I like the O Organics whole peeled garlic. The cloves come in little packs that are about a head of garlic each and individually sealed. They last quite a while. Other options. The whole foods fresh minced garlic in the produce section if I’m cooking a lot is a great deal, but won’t last as long. Alternately, you can buy the kind that comes in a jar like this. Pro tip if you buy that kind, use a bit of garlic powder in your dish to give it a bit more oomph.
- Pasta- I used some linguine. If you’ve got kids fusili or other spiral pasta might make it easier to eat. I don’t recommend a macaroni type just because there’s no sauce to fill it in.
- Greens! This time I used baby spinach. One 5oz box of organic baby spinach lasted partner and I for this meal and some bomb salads. My other go to is the O Organics Organic Half & Half Blend Spring Mix & Baby Spinach from my local safeway. The mix of greens is really nice. Herby. Also bonus points if you can get your hands on some fresh herbs. Whole foods carries these small packs of fresh herbs that I just love using. They are just enough for one dinner so I don’t feel like I have a bunch that will go to waste. Suggested herbs: oregano, parsley, basil thyme. You can also use Italian Seasoning mix. Whatever you got. I also used chili flakes and pepper. Also if you need to, pre chop your greens. put them into a bowl/ziploc and have them on deck.
- Tilapia! We had a bag of frozen fillets.
- Cheese! Also optional. I used shredded asiago.
- Butter or olive oil.
- Chicken or veg stock.
NOW. I will warn y’all. In the photo above I’d fucked up my pasta timing so my fish wound up going cold. Don’t do that.
Let’s get cookin. We’ll assume your pasta is either par boiled or otherwise ready to go.
- Preheat a skillet or frying pan then drizzle in enough olive oil to coat the bottom fairly well. You’ll want there to be a bit more than it takes to fry off the garlic.
- Once your oil is nice and hot, add in your garlic, with or without chili flakes. Note: this is how much I used because I used the leftover for a while. You do not need to be so extra.
[image description: a pan full of chopped garlic, olive oil and chili flakes with a sprinkling of pepper on top.
3. This won’t fry if you use a good amount of oil. Lower the temp until it is bubbling fairly gently and stir. You don’t want the garlic to burn or get too brown. You want a toasty tan color and amazing friggin smell. Once it is done, you’ll want to carefully pour most of the mix into a bowl and set aside. Leave some of the bits that remain and some of the oil. *if you’re not poaching fish skip to 5.
4. Put your tilapia into the pan, drizzle a spoonful or so of the garlic oil into the pan and pour your stock over it enough to cover your fish. Cover the pan and let it steam. Lightly season your fish with a smidge of pepper and/or other spices. I used paprika and a touch of seasoned salt.
5. In a pan large enough (unless you just made your pasta, then use your pasta pan) pre heat on medium to low. Depending on the size of your fish, wait until your fish is almost done. Add in your pasta, your greens and drizzle with your garlic oil. I used a lot cause we love garlic. Mix well, add in a little bit of chicken stock (less than a quarter cup) for moisture and cover. Let simmer and stir while the greens cook.
If you like your greens more tender let it cook longer and add a bit more stock. If you want them crisper take them out earlier.
Once your fish is done and your greens are done, put the pasta on a plate or in a bowl, top with your cheese. Put your fish on the side.
This meal took me over an hour because I didn’t really plan. I was going to make something else and decided that was the night I poached fish for the first time. On poaching fish. Small delicate tilapia does not take that damn long to cook. I overcooked mine because I was afraid they wouldn’t be done. I don’t suggest this recipe as your first time poaching fish.
You could also do cod, herbed salmon, leftover fish. Vegan proteins seitan, fake meats of your choice. Go nuts! You could also use nuts. If you like them pine nuts would be good I think. You can also expand this recipe easily by sauteeing other veggies. Mushrooms,. carrots, peas. Or if all you have is frozen heat those separately then toss in your pasta. If you have canned, drain them well and for extra flavor, sizzle them quickly with some of your garlic oil.
Don’t have tilapia? Add a couple of cans of tuna, well drained if in water. If in oil, add it to a pan and then add some garlic and lightly saute it. Just enough to give it a touch of color and then toss with your pasta.
If you aren’t a fish fan. This can also work with things like lemon chicken, leftover rotisserie chicken, roast chicken. Go nuts babes! If you try it please report back!