This recipe actually was conceived out of necessity. My daughter and her boyfriend were coming over for dinner and I was going to make a shrimp dish but as I soon learned from my daughter and my conversation that her boyfriend was allergic to shellfish, so I went ahead and nixed those dinner plans.
I had to think fast; so Josie’s recipes, to the rescue again!! My Mom use to make flounder in marinara sauce (gravy). I had tilapia in the freezer so I decided to make, you guessed it, Tilapia Marinara.
This dish is soooo simple and satisfying. My daughter didn’t know what I was going to replace the shrimp idea with but when she saw what I put together she was in awe! This made me feel very pleased that Mom’s ideas are new again. And again, I’m happy my Mom nudged my brain to recall this recipe in a time of need.
Now, this dish is one of our regulars on the menu and it even moved to one of the fishes on the Christmas Eve’s 7 fishes menu. Yes, this recipe has left its mark on our family and as you can see, that’s how traditions are remembered and memories are formulated.
Tilapia Marinara with Linguini
This recipe was discovered out of necessity. My daughter and her boyfriend were coming over for dinner and my intention was to make shrimp but when I chatted with my daughter in mid afternoon I soon discovered that her boyfriend was highly allergic to shell fish; so I had to go into "Stealth Ninja Chef mode" and figure out an alternate choice for dinner! Voila' The mother of invention! Tilapia Marinara was devised. And what a hit it was, actually its an old concept my mother had created long ago I just resurrected it and brought it to life once more! Josie to the rescue; she always let's me know!!
- 4-6 tilapia fillets
- 8 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 1 can 1lb.12oz. Whole Plum tomatoes (Preferred San Marzano tomatoes) Crush tomatoes by hand; you can also use a can and a half if you want a little extra sauce.
- 1 handful fresh basil Chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil Cover bottom of large saute pan
- 1 box linguini Put your pot of water on for linguini, add salt, bring it right below the boil point
Rinse your fillets and pad dry, set aside.
Prep your saute pan, put your olive oil in and 1/2 of your garlic chopped; start to warm pan and brown garlic
Add your tilapia-You are going to semi cook your fillets turn and semi cook the other side as well
Your going to remove your fish to a platter and set aside. Now your going to brown the rest of your garlic and add your hand crushed tomatoes,salt and pepper and your basil. Your going to let your tomatoes cook down a bit and built flavor.
While that's cooking your going to add your pasta to the water. Remember you want your linguini "al dente" so you are going to watch your pasta closely so not to overcook.
Now your going to go back to your tomato sauce (gravy) and you are going to add back in your fillets; your going to make that cook for a little while and gain flavor.
Your pasta should be tested now; if it is ready your going to strain it but save a little water.
Your fish should be very tasty by now, make sure they're cooked all the way through; should be NO transparency, should be white. Your going to put them in a clean platter. (DO NOT USE the one from before since it was RAW then)
Your gravy (marinara sauce) should be done as well. Your going to ladle your marinara sauce over your linguini, and ladle a little more marinara sauce over the fish.
If by any chance your pasta has dried out your going to add a little bit of the pasta water to it. Your the judge, this is just in case.
Your ready to serve, have a little pinot gregio to serve with your meal too.
Alright, godere il tuo familia! Buon Appetito!