Sometimes you get inspired by what is sitting on your kitchen counter. And sometimes you get inspired by some frozen tilapia filets in your freezer. In this instance, I was first inspired in a gorgeous bottle of a red blend and after a friend mentioned they went to OTTO (one of my favorite restaurants) and had the pasta puttanesca. It seemed like the most appropriate dish to incorporate my frozen tilapia. So, Tilapia Puttanesca happened.
For those that don’t know, Puttanesca means “lady of the night” or “whore pasta”. It’s a tomato based sauce with briny-ness from olives and capers and usually has a fishy-ness from anchovies. I decided to grill some tilapia and foil bake it covered in the briny tomato sauce, then serve it on some pasta.
2 tsp olive oil
8 oz of tilapia (2 filets)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup canned tomatoes, crushed
1/4 cup red wine
3 Tbsp capers
10 medium olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil
To start, I quickly pan fried the tilapia to brown the outside of it. While it was browning, I preheated the oven to 350*. The tilapia cooked over a medium flame for 2 minutes on each side. When the tilapia was done, I placed each piece into a large piece of foil.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the 2 tsp olive oil over a medium heat. Saute the onions for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, in the same manner, add the garlic. After 2 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup of the sauce on top of the tilapia. gently and loosely fold the foil to create an envelope and place on a baking dish. Bake the fish for 15 – 20 minutes.
Serve over linguine that has been tossed in the leftover sauce.
This was a hefty weeknight dinner that I enjoyed with a glass of red wine. Because this dish is of a fishy nature, I think it is best when eaten fresh. Reheating might not go so well.
A great dish for an easy but very flavorful (and healthy) romantic dinner in.