I really wanted corn salad for dinner. Freshly shaved off the cob, sauteed in butter, mixed with some red onion and cherry tomatoes, corn salad.
I didn't have tomatoes. Strike 1
The corn had recently expired. Strike 2
The onions were already in the pan. Well damnit.
Chopped up some zucchini (still playing catch up with CSA zucchini, and probably will be until the end of time. Good thing I love zucchini), tossed it in the pan, had an epiphany. Basil! That heavy cream I didn't use in the ice cream! White wine! At this point, I was totally ok with the fact that I didn't have corn or tomatoes.
The great thing about this dish, is that you can impress people by making them think it's super complicated, when it's really a one-pan meal (ok two, if you count the pasta pot. But I never count the pasta pot), that comes together in about 20 minutes!
Pasta with Basil Cream Poached Tilapia (serves 2)
8 ounces tilapia fillets
1 small zuchini, diced
a few slices of red onion, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces (dry) spaghetti
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic
1 cup (loose) basil
Cook pasta according to box directions. While it's cooking, heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and zucchini for a few minutes. Meanwhile, blend basil, garlic, and the remaining olive oil in a food processor. Once the veggies have softened, add cream, wine and pesto to the pan and stir in. Place tilapia in the pan, and cook, covered, for 10 minutes (for thin fillets). Remove the fish from the pan and stir in cooked pasta to give the sauce a chance to stick to the noodles. Plate the pasta, top with a fillet, and dust with parmesan if desired.