Mantecato of Flounder and Fennel over Gemelli with Pistachios

Never let anything go to waste! My mother’s mantra and that of every Italian Massaia (housewife). I managed to make an exaggerated amount of filling for my mezzelune, leaving some to mix with quinoa, my daughter’s favorite grain and the rest to dress a pasta with for our dinner the next day. I should have followed my own recipe and not bought an entire pound of flounder.

If you do end up with leftovers from your mezzelune, this is something that you have to make the next day, fish, as we all know, starts to stink after a very short period of time.

Mantecato of Flounder and Fennel over Gemelli with Pistachios

The portions are taken from the mezzelune recipe, you will need less for a pasta for two, but may want to make it a pasta for more!

  • 6 oz. of flounder, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium sized fennel bulb, minced in a food processor and frond set aside
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled  and left whole
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, ground

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small sauce pan and add garlic, when it starts to sizzle and the flounder pieces and sauté until opaque. Add minced fennel and let steam for a few minutes, absorbing all of the moisture. You want to be careful not to brown the flounder and the fennel, that will give the filling a more distinct flavor than what you will be looking for. Let the mixture cool.

In the meantime clean the fennel fronds. Add all of the ingredients, including the garlic, to a food processor and chop until it is all well blended.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can either mix it up in a blender or chop it all up with an enormous amount of patience, make sure that the mixture is consistent.

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Heat remaining oil in a small pan over low heat and add the flounder-fennel mixture, pour the white wine over the mantecato and combine. This will make it a bit more liquid for dressing the pasta.

Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor.

Add the pistachios off of the heat. Serve immediately.

One Year Ago: Chili and Honey Chicken Legs with Braised Collards

Two Years Ago: Pork Loin Stuffed with Figs, Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread & Morningside Farmers Market, Atlanta GA

~ by italicious on March 28, 2011.

One Response to “Mantecato of Flounder and Fennel over Gemelli with Pistachios”

  1. I love fennel and fish. I love fennel period. AND pistachios? This sounds amazing and looks beautiful!

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