Sunday, March 30, 2008

Penne With Eggplant And Swordfish

One of the advantages of growing up in a tropical island like the Philippines is having access to fresh seafood. I grew up eating fresh seafood. And I mean just-caught-that-day-kinda-fresh, so fresh some were still squiggling and jumping out from the containers! None of those previously frozen stuff...uh,oh.

Tonight's dinner was pasta with fish. Not from the can but fresh fish. Fortunately, I didn't have to clean the fish like I learned back in the Philippines, as I already got my fish filleted. I never had pasta with fish before, apart from having tuna casserole (which uses canned tuna), so it doesn't count for me. And I'm glad I tried this. This is definitely a keeper.

Penne With Swordfish And Eggplant
1 pound penne pasta
1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (plus more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus 1/3 cup
4 Japanese eggplants, ends trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise, then cut into squares
1 pound swordfish steaks skin removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups halved teardrop or cherry tomatoes (red, yellow or a blend)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook pasta until al dente (firm to the bite), about 8-10 minutes. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, red chili flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside.
3. Season the swordfish cubes with salt and pepper.
4. Using the same pan, over medium-high heat, add the 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil and cook the swordfish until opaque, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, cooked pasta, the remaining 1/3 cup parsley and stir. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
This recipe was adapted from Giada De Laurentiis'. I rarely follow a recipe to a T as I make my food according to how I prefer them. So for my version, I sauteed onion with my garlic. Also, I used whole grain Penne for my pasta. I used Japanese eggplant as they are not bitter like those large ones, though I'm sure you can also use the bigger varieties. I'd suggest washing them with salt and water first to get the bitterness out of them. I got my Japanese eggplant from the Asian market, as my local grocery store did not have them.

Also, it isn't suggested in the recipe, but I seasoned the eggplants with salt and pepper when I sauteed them, so the eggplant themselves will have flavor. When I sauteed the fish, I added chopped rosemary and thyme as well. I know that these herbs work well with swordfish.

As you can see, I didn't have the yellow teardrop tomato but I imagine that the pasta would have looked even more attractive with the yellow tomatoes in it.

I just love parmesan so I grated a bit of the cheese on top when I served the pasta. Italians don't recommend adding cheese to seafood, and I don't know why. But then again, I'm not Italian so I will do it the way I love it.

The colors of this pasta are wonderful. And it definitely tastes as good as it looks- no, not fishy at all. Just fabulous!


Anonymous said...

everything looks great! the pasta too, i might have to try it since fish is relativerly common here as well. yes vinegar and muffins sounds like a strange combo. i'm glad i got to finally catch up!

Jescel said...

hey Holly, this is the box of pasta you left me So thanks to you!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

That pasta looks delicious! So vibrant! Perfect for a Springtime supper! :)