fabulous fish dinner orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe&romanesco, swordfish with tomatoes&olives, roasted potatoes, chocolate almond tart
A menu inspired by Italian flavors, basic ingredients and balancing them to create a meal that is delicious.
Orecchiette broccoli rabe is one of my favorite pastas- I used to love it at a restaurant in New York called Bice (almost two decades ago). The flavors are something I always remember and try to create.
Serving fish as a main course is ideal when the weather is warmer and you want something that feels lighter. I recommend checking with guests to make sure everyone is a fish eater. The potatoes served alongside the fish are crispy, delicious and very easy to prepare.
This chocolate cake, or torte, is not too sweet and not too rich. But as with all my menus, desserts substitutions, store bought or others, are always an option.
Orecchiette pasta translates to pasta with “little ears” due to its round, squidgy shape. The pasta is one of my favorites and not often seen on restaurant menus – not sure why this is the case because the chew-factor is quite satisfying. Broccoli rabe is a more bitter relation to regular broccoli, and Romanesco also…
The key is to check the fish while in the oven, grill or pan, and remove just before you think it is done – looking for the fish to be slightly opaque and flaky.
These potatoes are my go-to side dish because not only are they easy to prepare but they complement many different types of proteins – chicken, beef and fish. Many recipes require you to boil the potatoes first and then roast in the oven. Here, the potatoes are roasted for an hour in a hot oven…
The day before
Write down your menu, make list of what you need to prepare, and when you will prepare it. Get organized (in your head) with any serving plates or things you need for serving
Make chocolate almond tart (Torta Caprese) and the orange whipped cream. Cake stays covered at room temperature
Clean any fruit garnish for dessert, and refrigerate
Prepare the tomato sauce without adding the olives, refrigerate
Three hours before
Set table- remember napkins, salt and pepper, extra cheese for the pasta
Organize serving bowls, dishes and serving utensils in kitchen
Put water in a pitcher with lemon or cucumber, refrigerate
Take out dessert plates and utensils
Two hours before
Make the broccoli rabe&romanesco only-not with pasta just the vegetables- and you can keep in the saute pan with cover on the stove top
Prepare the potatoes and place on the baking pans but do not cook yet
Decide on seating plan
One hour before
Prepare fish with salt and pepper, refrigerate
Boil water for pasta, remove from heat and cover with tight lid- this step makes it faster to boil later
Place tomato sauce in large saute pan, add the olives, ready on stove top
30 minutes before
Preheat oven to 450F for the potatoes, put in oven
Put on music, open wine, set out glasses for drinks before dinner, and any nibbles/appetizers
15 minutes before guests at table
Prepare the orecchiette pasta
Slowly reheat the broccoli rabe&romanesco- you want to watch this
Light candles on table and put out water
Take out potatoes from oven and put in warming oven or just set aside, covered in foil
Change oven temperature to 400F(205C) for the fish but not put in oven yet
10 minutes after serving the orecchiette first course
Excuse yourself from table and put fish with sauce in the 400F (205C) oven- set a timer for 10 minutes!