For one reason or another, I tend to buy too many tomatoes when I want to make a salad. I go crazy, and then I’m left with a whole box and a half of tomatoes that I don’t know what to do with. Don’t let them go to waste – this pasta is quick and easy to make, and you’ll find that fresh tomatoes taste much different than using canned tomato sauce with pasta. Plus, the addition of walleye instead of red meat provides a lighter, leaner protein to the dish. If you have mussels, clams and/or shrimp on hand, don’t hesitate to throw them into the mix.
I like pasta like this because it allows me to clean out my pantry. Aside from tomatoes, I usually keep ingredients such as garlic, dry and some fresh herbs, and a jar of olives around. A jar of fresh anchovies also isn’t a bad idea. Don’t be weirded out. Anchovies can give many of our favorite dishes a nice salty, savory backbone that’s hardly fishy. You won’t know it’s there, at least not in the way you think you would. Packed in oil, a jar of anchovies will last a long time in your fridge. Try adding it to your other favorite recipes, including sauces, salad dressings, marinades and dips for an umami-rich bite. A little goes a long way.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2-4 walleye fillets, skinless and boneless
- 2 servings dry angel hair pasta
- Olive oil, to taste
- 4 anchovies packed in oil
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 ½ ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- Dry herbs: oregano, basil
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Halved, pitted Kalamata olives, to taste
- Juice of a quarter of a lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring water and a pinch of salt to a boil for pasta. Cook angel hair pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta, but reserve ½ cup of pasta water. In the meantime, while you wait for the water to boil, heat 1 tablespoon of oil inside a deep, wide pan over medium heat. Add anchovies and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breaking up anchovies with a wooden spoon.
- Next, add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant, but do not brown. Add halved cherry tomatoes, a dash of basil, oregano and fresh thyme. Stir for 2-3 minutes until tomatoes begin to soften.
- Next add about half a cup of reserved pasta water to the pan. Allow sauce to simmer and slightly reduce for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then reduce the heat to low or medium low, and lay walleye fillets into the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.
- Taste the sauce again for taste. Discard thyme sprigs. Squeeze lemon juice over fish and add halved Kalamata olives to sauce. Serve sauce and fish over warm angel hair pasta garnished with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
- To make sure the pasta is well seasoned, you may also carefully remove the fish onto serving plates, and then toss the pasta directly into the sauce. Add more salt, pepper and olive oil as desired.