Recipe Source (sort of): Mutfagi, Refika'nin. Cooking New Istanbul Style. Boyut Yayincilik, Istanbul, 2010 p. 243.
I was so excited to make this recipe. I'd gotten very, very bored with most of my cookbooks. Then some friends took a nice, well-deserved vacation to Turkey. They brought me back this cookbook - a bilingual cookbook, in English and Turkish. I don't know why this makes the book so much more exciting than a mere English-language cookbook, but it does. I think it's the immediacy of the source language, the idea that (if I could read Turkish, which of course I can't) I could check the translation for myself. Anyway, it took a while for me to be able to get into the kitchen for anything exciting, for me to be able to plan to be able to do anything. (This is part of my recipe backlog, for the record, having been prepared and eaten in June.) I planned to make this very excitedly... and then Life intervened. Ultimately, what I made bears pretty much no resemblance to the original recipe. But the book was open to this page, right? That counts for something, right? I intended to make this dish, right?
So the first change that I made was using dried, boxed whole wheat pasta in place of making my own pasta. My intent was honestly always to make the pasta whole wheat because that's just how we roll around here these days. I did intend to make the appropriate pasta myself as directed by the author, but life got crazy and it just wasn't feasible at the time. The original called for shellfish - squid and shrimp. I'm trying very, very hard to only feed our daughter the food that we ourselves eat. This involves some sacrifice on our part, because the pediatrician would prefer that we avoid giving Fearless Toddler shellfish for another few months lest she develop an allergy to them. The squid became mahi mahi and the shrimp became tilapia. Fresh tomatoes were not yet in season, so I used a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. I increased the capers because my husband likes capers. (Unfortunately I made a poor buying choice in my brand of capers; they had no flavor whatsoever and I might as well have saved my money and omitted them altogether.) I omitted the raisins because I hadn't any. I thought I did, but they disappeared sometime between grocery day and cooking day. I will blame Fearless Toddler. I used garlic paste instead of real, whole garlic because I was in a rush. I added beet greens because I had them and I wanted to add some additional health to the dish.
So... yeah. No actual resemblance to the original. But it still tasted great. Next time hopefully I'll get to be a little more faithful to the original.
Seafood Pasta (serves 4; approx. cost per serving not available)
1 box whole wheat pasta, prepared according to package directions
2 - 3 fillets mahi-mahi, cut into chunks.
2 -3 fillets tilapia, cut into chunks
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup capers
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 14-oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 green bell peppers, sliced into strips
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon garlic paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Kosher salt to taste
- Large saute pan
- Heat the oil in the saute pan.
- Add the garlic. Saute for about 15 seconds.
- Add the mahi-mahi and pepper strips. Saute for about 2 minutes.
- Add the tilapia. Saute about a minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook until the fish is cooked through.
- Put the cooked pasta in the serving bowl.
- Pour the cooked fish mixture over the pasta.