Fish with Asparagus (Pesce con gli Asparagi)
For this recipe, you can use snapper, Chilean bass, or salmon. Flouring the fillets helps keep them from falling apart as they cook. The flour also helps to thicken the sauce.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
24 asparagus spears, ends trimmed and discarded
4 fish fillets (such as snapper, Chilean bass, or salmon), 8 ounces each
Salt and pepper to taste
1⁄4 cup flour
1⁄4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
3⁄4 cup white wine
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil. Add 4 tablespoons vinegar.
Cut the tips off the asparagus and slice the spears into 3⁄4-inch pieces.
Blanch the asparagus for 3 minutes in the water-vinegar mixture. Drain and set aside.
Season the fish with salt and pepper.
Spread the flour out on a large plate and coat each fillet with flour, shaking off any excess.
Place the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Place the fish fillets and thyme in the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Then turn the fish over and cook for another 3 minutes.
Pour any excess oil out of the skillet and then add the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar. Cook for 30 seconds.
Add the wine and let it reduce for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low-medium heat, partially covered, for 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the asparagus and parsley during the last 4 minutes of cooking.
Using a spatula, lift the snapper fillets out of the pan and place them on dinner plates.
Top each fillet with a large spoonful of the asparagus and tomato sauce.