Thursday, January 20, 2011

Piccata-Style Fish Fillets with Pasta and Spinach

This is a Rachael Ray recipe I found in her magazine a couple of months ago. It is now part of our regular rotation. If you don't think you are a fish eater then Tilapia fish is for you. It is such a mild tasting fish and really I don't ever know that I'm eating it and it's super low in calories and really healthy. I also wasn't a huge spinach eater until this recipe. A good amount of salt & pepper and the nutmeg in the spinach seasons it perfectly.

Today's Stars:
1/2 pound thin egg pasta or angel hair pasta
4 thin tilapia or snapper fillets
Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
4 tablespoons butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
2 lemons
1/4 cup drained capers
A handful of parsley finely chopped

Start your water to boil for the pasta and then start prepping the following: Dice the garlic

Zest the lemon

Juice the lemon you just zested

Slice the other lemon into thin slices

Pat your fish dry and season with salt, pepper, and old bay seasoning on both sides.

Mix your flour and cornstarch together

Dredge your fish in the flour mixture completely covering both sides.

Now to preparing the meal:

The water should be boiling by now so start the pasta cooking. If you are cooking angel hair it won't take long at all.

Heat 1 tbsp of EVOO of medium-high heat and then add 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and let foam up.

Add the fish and let crisp and brown up nicely on both sides. About 4-6 min. on each side. Transfer to a plate and cover lightly with foil (I didn't necessarily do that because sometimes the fish gets soggy from the heat getting trapped in).

Add 1/2 tbsp EVOO and the remaining butter to the pan and cook the garlic for 1 min. and add the wine/chicken broth and cook for an additional minute. Add the lemon juice, zest, lemon slices, capers, and parsley to the broth. Spoon the lemon slices and half the juice over the fish.

At this point the pasta should be done so drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

(Apparently I missed the part about taking out all the lemon slices in the recipe).

Add the reserved water and the pasta to the skillet with the remaining butter sauce and season with S&P and toss. Transfer to a platter.

Add the last 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and add the spinach and season well with S&P and some grated nutmeg.

This will cook down in about 2 min.

I forgot to get a picture of the finished product because I was famished and just ate it instead. Serve the pasta and spinach alongside the fish.

Additional notes:
-Last time I made this I tried to feed my kids the fish and pasta that were in the sauces and neither of them liked it. This time I set aside 1 fish fillet for them to share and some plain pasta before either of them got sauce on them. The kids both ate their plainish fish and pasta. Yours might like the lemon sauce and capers but mine sure didn't and I hate wasting good food. This way they are pretty much eating what I've already cooked but just modified.
-This time I liberally seasoned the fish and the spinach and it made a world of difference so don't be afraid of some salt, pepper, old bay seasoning, and the nutmeg in the spinach.
-I used leftovers of 1 lemon and some capers from my fridge for this.

Piccata-Style Fish with Spinach
Click on the link to open a PDF recipe. Once the link opens click on print and it will ask you what you want to do so tell it to open and then it will open in PDF. You must have Adobe Reader (free to install from Adobe's website) in order to print the recipe.


  1. Yay! I was needing a new tilapia recipe. Thanks, Karin! Are the capers necessary? I don't have any! I do the same w/ my picky kiddos b/c I refuse to cook 2 dinners! Sara

  2. This recipe looks great, I love Tilapia and Spinach.

  3. Sara-

    You can leave them out if you don't have them. They just add a bit of additional sourness.