braised tilapia over pasta

braised tilapia over pasta

I went to Connecticut with my brother’s partner a couple of weeks ago. We went to go visit a family friend who had just gotten back from the hospital and make sure he was all right. He’s a great man. He has done many great things for HIV research and helped so many people in their fight and struggle against the virus. I respect him a lot and he has touched my heart and has taught me many things about life. He continues to do research at Yale and I commend him for his work and his spirit.

He had been craving some food from an Italian restaurant for some time. Problem was, he was on house rest and couldn’t get in the car to make the drive and they didn’t deliver. So, in the car we went and drove 2 hours to ensure that he got his Italian food. It was worth it. To go and hear his jokes and his stories – it’s completely worth it. The food was good. But, my favorite was a fish dish that my sister in law got. It was a baked fish that was simple and layered with flavor and then just simply served over pasta. It was so simple and complex at the same time, like lots of Italian food I’ve come to enjoy. I decided that I wanted to try making this at home.

I had a great opportunity when I went to a friend’s house to cook for a group of friends. I was running late (20 minutes) so I needed to cook something that would be quick and easy, but worth being late for. So I went to the corner store by her house in the Financial District, shrugged my shoulders and was like, “here we go…”

This dish is actually really simple and quick. I used canned tomato sauce (you can use canned tomatoes and add oregano, basil, and thyme. I got to my friend’s at about 7:20 and had dinner ready by 7:45…ish. The brine from the capers really helps balance the tang of the tomatoes and sweetness of the onions. Really, it’s a nice balance.

And rarely do I see a whole fish fillet just chilling on a bed of cooked pasta, but it works.

Again, remember to use the seafood watch guide. Which reminds me. I need to update it.


2 8 oz. filet of tilapia, halved [or any white fish like snapper or cod]

1 15oz. can of tomato sauce

1 medium onion, sliced into rings

1 tbs garlic, minced

2 dried bay leaves

2 tbs capers

2 tsp salt

3 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbs olive oil

1 lb spaghetti

1 tsp red chili flakes, optional

minced parsley for garnish


boil large pot of salt water for pasta

season both sides of fish with 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper

sear fish on both sides till slightly brown in a large pan on high with olive oil, remove fish

sauté capers in the same pan for a few minutes and turn down heat to medium

layer, over capers, half the onion, one bay leaf, half of the tomato sauce, then fish, then garlic, then onion, and finally the bay leaf [add chili pepper if you want a kick]

pour the rest of the tomato sauce into the pan and shake to ensure sauce goes in all pockets and covers the fish completely

cover and cook on medium low until fish is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on fillet thickness

cook pasta according to package instruction while fish is cooking

serve over cooked pasta on a large plate and top with chopped parsley, if available

– serves 4 –


3 Responses to “braised tilapia over pasta”

  1. 1 Candice
    March 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I guarantee this is good one! Try it out food lovers, try it out!

  2. May 16, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    This look delicious and a nice heartwarming post. Just stumble upon your blog and I love it so far. Just added this to my recipe list. Thank you!

    • 3 scott
      May 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

      L: No problem. I would recommend less tomato sauce when serving it. I was in a hurry to take the picture, you can’t really see the fish. Thank YOU!

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