Summer Fish Spaghetti with Pangrattato and Cherry Tomatoes

Oh, this lovely summer weather! It’s too bad that now I’m back at work I can’t enjoy it.

I did enjoy it while it lasted though, with trips to the beach to sunbake, read and swim.   And, as usual, with delicious summer-style food.

On one of the sweltering days we had a couple of weeks back, Boyfriend and I decided that, after a day at the beach, we felt like something fresh and light for dinner.  What was more fitting than some grilled fish and handcut chips?

But, as we discussed our plans, (i.e. What kind of fish? What to have to with fish? Me: How about we make a lemongrass, soy and ginger fish like that one we had that time? Boyfriend: With potato? I don’t think so), I remembered the fish I’d eaten at Jamie’s Italian a few months earlier – grilled john dory with cherry tomato salad and pangratatto.  From here, we had an idea.

We decided that instead of remaking Jamie’s dish, we’d appropriate it into a pasta dish.
Genius.
So what did we do?
Summer Fish Spaghetti with Pangrattato and Cherry Tomatoes
We started off by making the pangratatto:
We put about 8 inches of day-old baguette into a food processor with lemon rind, chilli salt, a bit of rosemary and some olive oil.  We blended this up into crumbs and then fried it off for a few minutes in a frypan to create delicious, crunchy bread crumbs.

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Fun fact! Did you know that pangrattato was once used in Italy as a substitute for parmesan cheese by those who couldn’t afford it? How very frugal!
Also, unless you need enough breadcrumbs for a large crowd, I’d suggest using a smaller amount, say about 3 – 4 inches of baguette. The amount we used made a big old bowl full.
After our breadcrumbs were ready, we moved on to the rest of the dish.
Fish, etc:

We bought really fresh flathead fillets (boned and skinned) in order to make a light, summery dish; but you can use any firm, white fish that flakes well, just make sure it is as fresh as you can buy.

To begin, we popped our water on to boil in preparation for cooking our spaghetti. (Whenever your water is ready, add your pasta. I’m sure you  know the drill.)
We then put our flathead in a nonstick pan and cooked it for about 2 minutes each side. We cooked it about 3/4 of the way through, (knowing that it would finish cooking once everything was tossed together).

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We took the fish out and drained it on absorbent paper, and added some garlic to the still hot pan.
We cooked off the garlic for about 90 seconds, then added a good glug of olive oil to the pan (the olive oil will make up a large part of the sauce).
We then added a punnet of chopped cherry tomatoes to the pan and cooked these for about 30 seconds – just enough to soften them slightly.

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Then we added a splash of white wine and let the alcohol cook off before adding approximately 1/2 a cup of the cooking liquid from the pasta to make an emulsion between the olive oil, wine and water.

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We added our spaghetti (which we’d been cooking in the meantime) back into the pan with the garlic, cherry tomatoes and sauce, then flaked the flathead fillets in with the pasta. To finish the pasta in the pan we added a (very) good handful of chopped continental parsley, a LOT of ground black pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice (about half a lemon).
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To finish we served the pasta up into bowls and covered with loads of pangratatto.

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Note: It’s important not to add the pangrattato until you’re ready to eat, otherwise it’ll go soggy – therefore losing the crunch (which is the whole point).
All in all, this was a very quick and delicious meal.  Man, it tasted so good. If I do say so myself.
It didn’t take us long to cook – the cooking time probably ended up being about 12 minutes – from when the pasta went into the boiling water to when it was added back into the pan with the other ingredients.
The pangrattato was super delicious and we’d definitely recommend that you try it instead of parmesan for something different.
Would I make again? For sure!