Cody’s pasta dishes have quickly become my love language. One year, for my birthday, he told me, “I’m going to make you something really great.” And I believed him.
He came home from the store with a few bags of groceries, and I sat in a bewildered bliss knowing he was up to something good.
The aroma of the tomatoes cooking down with garlic and onions quickly won me over as these are the building blocks of some of my favorite dishes.
He soon boiled a pot of water for linguine and placed a skillet on another burner for the rockfish. (If you know fish, you’ll know rockfish—also known as striped bass—as it’s a local gem for us that live around the Chesapeake Bay. The flaky, white tender flesh is sturdy, forgiving and can easily be breaded and sautéed for this delectable dish.)
Once the sauce cooked down and the flavors melded, he added a bit of cream and freshly chopped tarragon, then stirred in the rockfish and linguine. The combination of the tarragon, reminiscent of licorice, with the garlicky sauce and rockfish quickly became one of my favorite dishes that he makes.
What’s great about this dish is that while it only takes around one hour to get from the stovetop to the table, the flavors speak of hours spent in the kitchen. Whether it’s for date night in, Valentine’s Day or another special occasion to celebrate your loved ones, this linguine with rockfish is a stunner of an entrée that delivers a punch of flavor in little time.
Date Night In: Linguine with Rockfish
*Though this date night recipe serves six, this is an ideal dish to have for leftovers. Trust us; you’ll want this more than once. Just reheat in a saucepan and add a splash of water.
I N G R E D I E N T S
12 oz dry linguine
For the sauce
1 head of garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
22-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
Splash red wine
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup tarragon, finely chopped
1/3 cup cream
3 Tbsp butter
Parmesan to garnish
For the fish
3 Tbsp grapeseed oil (or other oil with a low smoke point, such as peanut or canola oil)
1 lb rockfish (or other white fish, like Chilean sea bass or halibut), cut into bite-size chunks
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp of butter
M E T H O D
Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onions for 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
Add the canned tomatoes to the pot, then fill the can about two-thirds of the way with water; add this to the pot. Next, add the jalapeño, sundried tomatoes, a generous splash of red wine, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Lower the heat, cover the pot, and allow to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to a boil. Cook the linguine according to package instructions. Once cooked to a perfect al dente, strain the linguine and rinse with cold water to prevent it from cooking further. Set aside.
Once the sauce has simmered for 45 minutes, uncover the pot and use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until you reach an even consistency throughout. Continue to let the sauce simmer, uncovered, so that it thickens while you sauté the fish.
In a medium skillet on medium-low heat, add the grapeseed oil. Lightly flour the pieces of rockfish and season with salt and pepper. Once the skillet is heated, add the rockfish and butter. Sauté the fish for about 8 minutes, flipping once halfway through cook time, until the fish is just cooked through.
Now, add the rockfish, tarragon, cream and butter to the marinara and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Add the linguine to the pot of marinara, give it a good stir, and serve onto plates or in shallow bowls. Garnish with parmesan.