This simple seafood pasta recipe for 4, combines all the great flavors of the Mediterranean — olives, artichokes, capers, and lemon — and is as perfect for al fresco dining in the summer as it is for a cozy wintertime dinner in front of the fireplace. Halve the recipe for 2 servings.
- 10 to 14 ounces white fish, such as cod, rockfish, lingcod, or halibut
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces orecchiette
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ounces baby spinach
- ¾ cup drained and quartered marinated artichokes
- ¼ cup pitted and chopped Sicilian green olives
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pat fish dry, season generously with salt, and let sit for 10 minutes while water comes to a boil.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Reserve 1 ¼ cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Cook the fish
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Rinse the fish, then pat dry. Add to the skillet and cook, turning once, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and break into large flakes.
Make sauce and serve
Add the remaining oil to the skillet along with the garlic and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pasta and ¾ cup of the reserved cooking water, and cook, stirring until reduced slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach, artichokes, olives, and capers, and remaining pasta water, and cook, stirring until the pasta is coated in a creamy sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the fish and any accumulated juices, and cook just until heated through. Season lightly with salt and crushed red pepper and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Serve immediately.
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Level it Up
For a crunchy pasta topper, sauté ½ cup panko and ¼ cup finely crumbled Spanish (dry) chorizo until toasted.
Change it Up
This is a great way to use leftover cooked fish. Fold in 10 to 12 ounces of any cooked fish — salmon, white fish, or shrimp — at the end.
Pair it Up
Sicilian olives deserve Sicilian wine! Look for a savory, minerally Sicilian white wine like Etna Bianco, which comes from Mount Etna. A fresh Italian or Greek white wine would also work.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.