Every now and then la cucina Tripepi gets a visit from the kitchen fairies. Last night they flapped their little wings, clicked their red sequined happy tappy heels together and a moment of perfect culinary synergy prevailed. The dish looked elegant and ate even better. For an original creation ‘twas naught less than the equivalent of a pair of Jimmy Choo’s I tell you.
I had planned to make orecchiette (little ear shaped pasta) with Cime di Rapa, a typical pasta dish from Puglia made with turnip tops and an anchovy based sauce. It’s clean, fresh and almost vegetarian. Unfortunately “Earthmother” the shop that I usually get organic veggies from had run out of the magnificent bunches of turnips that they had on sale last week, so my plans were dashed.
A trip to my local super yielded a nice piece of fresh Dorado and my dew bin yielded some crispy fennel and leeks waiting for some special treatment. What blew my hair back with this dish is the balance that was created between the fennel, leek and the fish. The only improvement I can possibly think of would be a dash of Pernod to deglaze the pan that the fennel and leeks were in to heighten the flavour of the fennel. I will try this next time.
This is such an elegant dish; it is cooked in a flash would make a wonderful main course for a dinner party. Unfortunately I cooked this dish in the evening resulting in some rather bad lighting to photograph in and there were no left overs to photograph in a stylish manner the next day. Oh well!
Fennel & Leek Fettuccine with Pan Fried Spicy Dorado
Dorado or any firm white fish
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
A large knob of butter
1/2 a large red chilli, for a bit of zing and a little colour
4 medium sized fennels, cleaned and sliced thinly – reserve some of the top for
garnishing the finished dish
4 leeks – cleaned and sliced thinly
3Tbs of mascarpone
½ cup of vegetable or chicken stock
Freshly cracked black pepper
250g fresh fettuccini
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil while you cook the fennel and the fish.
Over a medium heat, melt the butter and gently fry the garlic and chilli
Add the sliced fennel and leeks to the pan and fry gently for 3 minutes then add
the half a cup of chicken or vegetable stock and cover the pan with a lid. You don’t want to brown the fennel and leeks
for this dish. Remove the lid once the
fennel and leeks are soft and cook off most of the liquid.
Add the mascarpone and black pepper to taste and once the mascarpone has melted
remove the pan from the heat.
Skin the fish, heat a griddle pan and rub olive oil over the fish to prevent it from
sticking to the pan. Cook until the fish
is just cooked – don’t overcook the fish.
Set aside to rest.
Add the fresh fettuccine to the pot of salted water – they will cook in about 4
Using a pasta scoop lift the fettuccine out of the pot and place them straight into
the pan with the fennel & leek sauce.
Stir into the sauce and start plating up.
Place a bed of fettuccine in the bottom of your pasta bowl
Top with a piece of the fresh Dorado and garnish with some chopped fresh red chilli and
snip some fennel tops (dill) over the whole dish. A light grind of black pepper and Walla! Serve.
click on this link above to have a look at my Pinterest Boards – you will be able to see all of my recipes
a lot easier by doint this. Pinterest is loads of fun!
My spice drawer went from this ….
To this ….
I bought 24 jars from a wholesaler, painted the lids with blackboard paint and wrote the name of
the spice in each jar on the top with a Tipex pen! I can now buy large quantities of spices from my local
spice shop and store ALL of my spices in one drawer!