You’ve decided to take on the kitchen this Valentine’s Day…but a little nervous? This recipe is for you!
Though I feel a little willy nilly with a pan in my hand, there is something about being in the kitchen with those I care about that feels so good for the soul. I love putting on a record, opening a bottle of wine, and communing over a meal. So this Valentine’s Day, why not try cooking dinner with your lover or a group of girlfriends? Share some laughs, have a dance, and let go of all of your stress. Plus, this is one of the easiest recipes, from prep to execution, that I’ve ever found. And it tastes delicious! Vegetarian? Take out the fish. Gluten- or wheat-free? Subtract the pasta. This recipe is flexible so feel free to make it your own!
Fresh or frozen halibut or grouper fish
One bunch fresh basil
12 roma tomatoes
One red onion
Two cloves garlic
1/4 cup capers
Bushel of spinach
2 cups cooked angel hair pasta
Salt and pepper to taste, red pepper optional
1. Boil water for pasta and preheat oven to 425F.
2. Slice all Roma tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces. Put aside 1/3 or all sliced tomatoes to use later for sauce.
3. Julienne (roll up and slice on the diagonal) all of the basil. *Julienne will create a long strip of basil. Set aside.
4. Wash spinach and trim one inch from bottom, dice red onion and mince garlic. Set aside.
5. Take 2/3 of the tomatoes that were set aside and mix with half of the basil, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1/2 cup chopped onion, and 1 tbsp capers. Gently toss together and add salt, pepper and optional red pepper to taste. *The tomatoes will absorb a lot of salt — you may find yourself being salt-liberal.
6. Put mixture aside and place fish on aluminum foil.
7. Cover the fish in olive oil, salt and pepper.
8. Scoop the tomato mixture onto pieces of fish. Cover the fish and tomatoes with another piece of aluminum and roll sides of foil to envelop the fish inside.
9. Place your fish into preheated oven. If frozen, bake 25-30 minutes. If fresh, bake 10-15 mins.
10. With 5 minutes left on the clock, add pasta to the boiling water.
11. Set aside large sauce pan (with cover) on stove top and add oil to saucepan as it heats. Pour all of your spinach into the pan on high heat. Add a pinch of garlic and salt and pepper and cover with sauce pan top.
12. Once the spinach sizzles, stir around the pan until wilted. Turn on low heat.
13. Drain cooked pasta and set aside. Take spinach out of pan and set aside.
14. Re-oil pan and add the remainder of your tomatoes, capers, salt, pepper and garlic and sautee for one minute on high heat. Stir to evenly cook tomatoes.
15. Check on fish…pull out foil wrap and check the middle of the fish. If the middle is flaky, the fish is done.
16. Add cooked pasta to the sauce pan with tomatoes. Stir all together.
17. Plate the fish, spinach, pasta and tomato goodness. Add parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!
+What are you cooking for Valentine’s Day?
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