This dish was inspired by Mariacristina Lubrano from @coochinando, her version is Paccheri con Sugo alla Pescatrice (Monkfish), she gave me a few tips on how to prepare this dish and I took the liberty of mixing a bit of Canadiana (Haddock) with Italian (Paccheri and Tomato Sauce) and the results were delicious. As you eat, close your eyes and imagine you’re in Italy sitting on a sunny terrace listening to the waves of the sea crash the shoreline.
This simple recipe of fish cooked with garlic, white wine and fresh tomatoes mixed with paccheri takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and makes a lovely dinner. It’s one of those dishes that lets good ingredients shine, flaky fish from local waters, sun-ripened tomatoes and garden fresh parsley. Get the best paccheri you can find, preferably from Gragnano where it’s famous and get your fork ready!
Paccheri with Haddock Ragu
1 pound paccheri
1 1/2-2 pounds haddock filets or similar white fish
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, sliced in half (I use the small Campari variety)
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Paccheri: Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a handful of coarse sea salt and the 1 pound package of paccheri. Cook until al dente, 12-15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
For the Haddock Ragu: Begin by rinsing and drying the haddock filets, then cut them into large pieces.
Set a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, when hot add the extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Next, add the smashed garlic and half of the parsley, saute until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add the fish and sear about 2 minutes before adding the white wine. Allow the wine to reduce a bit and add the tomato halves. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
At this point if you find that your fish is almost cooked through remove the large filets to a small plate (some of the fish will have flaked off by now) and set aside. Continue cooking the tomatoes until soft and saucy another 5 minutes or so.
Finally, add the cooked paccheri and 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to the sauce. Put the fish filets back in the pan and gently combine until all the ingredients are mixed together. Serve immediately and garnish with the remaining parsley. As always, we top our pasta with fresh chili pepper too. Enjoy