This quick and easy fish pasta recipe features our favorite sustainably-farmed barramundi! Plenty of garlic and lemon in a simple white wine sauce with burst tomatoes.
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This post is sponsored by our friends at Australis Barramundi.
We're busting out our FAVORITE (sustainably farmed! hearty! not too fishy! budget-friendly!) barramundi today for a quick and easy fish pasta with blistered tomatoes in a lickety-split white wine sauce.
Also, let's take a hot minute to fangirl (because this fish? You need it in your life).
Why we love barramundi:
Our friends at The Better Fish® are globally-recognized leaders in sustainable fish farming (aka aquaculture). Their barramundi is the first ocean-farmed fish to receive a Best Choice rating from Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch program, which means it's been independently vetted and third-party certified as a sustainable choice (hip hooray!)
But even more than that? The Better Fish®walks the talk, you guys. They work with major industry stakeholders to make fish farming more sustainable across the board - and they've put their money where their mouth is to build a model (and a movement) that's better for their fish, the environment, their employees, and their consumers (that's us!)
Barramundi is a meaty white fish with a mild, buttery flavor. It's not "fishy" at all - perfect for friends or family who don't always love seafood - and it won't leave a lingering fish smell in your kitchen.
Barramundi is especially sturdy, which means it's tough enough to throw on the grill and meaty enough to hold its own in a rich sauce. Its mild flavor and meaty texture also mean it's quite forgiving - ESPECIALLY in a recipe like this one, where we cook it right in the sauce. (This white wine sauce, by the way? It goes SO WELL with fish pasta. We're a little obsessed).
PS - Read more about why I love The Better Fish® in this post, and hear me interview Australis Aquaculture CEO Josh Goldman on one of At The Table Podcast's very first episodes!
Alright. Let's talk about how to make this fish pasta.
Barramundi is a fish that goes especially well with pasta - it's meaty enough to hold its shape and handle a strong sauce, but mild enough that this fish pasta doesn't taste "fishy". We're using two barramundi fillets here, cut into quarters for a quick cook time (just a few minutes to poach in your white wine sauce!) and easy serving.
Here's our basic order of operations:
- Blister up some tomatoes in a hot skillet.
- Add your garlic and shallot.
- Douse everything with your favorite white wine and add a few spices.
- Plop your white fish riiiiiiight on into that sauce - it'll poach in just a few minutes!
- Toss with pasta and serve with a few lemon wedges.
That's it! Just a few ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need for this easy-but-elegant weeknight dinner.
VIDEO: How to make fish pasta with blistered tomatoes
A quick and easy fish pasta with our favorite sustainable barramundi, summer tomatoes, and white wine.
- ½ pound pasta (we used a large rigatoni)
- 12 ounces barramundi (about 2 fillets), thawed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 heaping cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup dry white wine (we used a chardonnay)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 small lemon, cut into wedges
COOK THE PASTA & PREP THE FISH:
- Cook pasta in very salty water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, cut barramundi fillets into quarters (about 2-inch pieces).
MAKE THE WHITE WINE SAUCE:
- Heat olive oil in a large, sturdy skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers (you want it nice and hot for your tomatoes!) Add cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring only once or twice, for 3-4 minutes until skins have blistered and begun to burst.
- Add shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes to tomatoes and stir to combine. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shallot has softened and browned.
- Add salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Add white wine to pan to deglaze. Use your spoon or spatula to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan - we want all that flavor!
- Add thyme and stir to combine. Bring sauce to a low simmer.
COOK THE BARRAMUNDI:
- Gently place your barramundi pieces into the white wine sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over each piece of fish to help them cook.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes until the fish begins to turn bright white around the edges. Use a spoon or spatula to gently flip each piece of fish over. Cook 2-3 more minutes, until barramundi is a bright, opaque white and easily flakes apart. (If you prefer not to flip your fish over, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid or continuously spoon the white wine sauce over your fish to help it cook evenly).
PLATE AND SERVE:
- When fish has cooked, taste your sauce and add salt if necessary.
- Toss your cooked pasta with a few large spoonfuls of the white wine sauce to keep noodles from sticking together.
- Place pasta on a plate or serving dish. Use a spoon or spatula to place fish and tomatoes on top of pasta, then drizzle remaining sauce over pasta (you can toss everything together instead of plating if you like - the fish just won't hold its shape as well!)
- Serve fish pasta immediately with lemon wedges and extra thyme leaves for garnish (optional).
Substitutions. Use ½ cup diced onion in place of shallot. Substitute vegetable stock for all or part of the white wine if you like. Use ½ teaspoon dried thyme instead of fresh thyme. Substitute 2 cups roughly chopped tomato for the cherry tomatoes, or use ½ cup tomato sauce in their place for a smoother sauce. Use fresh basil or parsley to garnish in place of thyme. Use any pasta you have on hand! Serve with rice or mashed potatoes instead of pasta, or omit the starch altogether and serve with a salad or fresh veggies.
Additions. Add your favorite veggies or legumes to this sauce (we like zucchini, chick peas, corn, green beans, and bell peppers!) and add a splash of heavy cream if you'd like a thicker sauce.
Red pepper flakes can vary in intensity over time and between brands. We tested this recipe with several red pepper flake varieties and noticed different spice levels with each - taste as you cook and feel free to add more if you'd like things spicier!
Where can I buy barramundi? Find The Better Fish® barramundi near you with their handy online store locator and at Whole Foods nationwide.
Keywords: seafood, sustainable, sea bass