Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pappardelle with Tilapia, Cauliflower, & Red Peppers in Alfredo Sauce

This nice pasta dish is delicious with the Alfredo sauce -- but could be adapted to use a healthier one!  It's a great way to get your pickier family members to enjoy both fish and vegetables. 

This is a 3-pot dinner.  Serves 4 people generously.

Pot #1: Large Pot. Cook a package of Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta, drain and return to pot to keep warm.  Stir in a little of the sauce from pot #2 to keep the noodles from sticking together.

Pot #2: Medium Saucepan.  Make the Alfredo Sauce. This is from an online recipe that claims to be the Olive Garden version, which I happen to adore.  It is very high fat, and I sometimes substitute evaporated milk for half of the cream.
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder, more to taste
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese or romano cheese
Melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the cream cheese and whisk 'til smooth and melted, then whisk in the heavy cream.  Season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Bring to a good simmer and whisk frequently over medium-low heat until sauce thickens, around 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Pot #3:  Large Skillet with lid.  Vegies and fish - this combo is delicious, but it would work well with other fish and vegies.
  • Cauliflower, one head, chopped
  • Red peppers, 1 or 2, chopped
  • Tilapia about 1.5 lbs, cut into about 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Cajon seasoning, to taste (or salt & pepper)
  • Olive oil, about 1 Tablespoon
  • Canola oil, about 1/4 cup
Vegies:  Heat pan to high heat, and add olive oil.  When hot add the vegies, and cook on high with the lid on, stirring often with a metal spatula, and scraping the pan to prevent burning.  Cook until the vegies are browned and tender to your liking, about 15 to 20 minutes.  This produces a great flavor, similar to roasting.  Transfer the vegies out of the pan - I put them on top of the now-done, drained pasta in Pot #2.

Fish:   In a mixing bowl, combine flour and seasoning.  Add fish pieces, and shake to coat.  Add canola oil to the skillet, and heat on high.  When hot, add the fish pieces, cook until done, turning to brown both sides, about 5 minutes total.

To serve: put pasta on plate, then vegies on top of pasta, fish beside, and sauce over vegies and pasta.  This way the fish stays crispier.  Yum, yum, yum!

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