Food and drink

Sea Bass with Tomato and Olive Spaghetti


What am I going to have for tea tonight? That’s a question that takes up a lot of my time. For inspiration I’ll grab a few books and flick through them or trawl recipe websites hoping something jumps out of the screen. But often the best inspiration is my own memory of a dish I’ve eaten somewhere. This sea bass dish is my version of a restaurant dish I had at Sea Breezes on Skye. They used crushed tatties but I’ve done it with spaghetti for a slightly more mediterranean feel.

From start to finish this only took 15 minutes to prep and cook. For such a quick and easy dish it packs a lot in. The main thing is to make sure the sea bass gets a good crispy skin. Fry them skin side down and don’t move them around the pan too much. When they hit the pan make sure to hold them down for a few seconds so they don’t curl up.

The whole dish worked fantastically well and really brought back good memories of the meal on Skye and that whole weekend. I think food is one of the few things that can perform that magical trick of transporting you back to holidays you enjoyed and good times you’ve had. While I was planning, cooking and eating this I was happily remembering sea eagles and their chicks near Portree, the view from the top of Storr and the two days of glorious sunshine we had while we explored the wonderful island we were visiting for the first time.


Serves 2

2 Sea bass fillets
Large handful of baby plum tomatoes, halved
Large handful of pitted black olives, halved
1 clove garlic, sliced
Spaghetti
Chopped basil
Chopped parsley
Smoked paprika

Put a large pan of salted water on the boil.
Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan then add the sea bass skin side down.
Season and fry the fillets until they’re almost cooked through then gently flip them over to finish them off and take the pan off the heat.
Being careful not to break the fillets, remove them from the pan and leave them somewhere warm to rest.
Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
While the spaghetti is cooking add the tomatos and olives to the frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.
Add the sliced garlic and basil then gently cook for a further minute.
Remove from the heat until the spaghetti is ready.
Once the spaghetti is cooked spoon a little of the cooking water into the frying pan with the sauce.
Drain the spaghetti and add it to the pan with the tomatoes and olives.
Return to the heat and stir everything together before lightly seasoning and finishing with the parsley.
Serve with the sea bass and sprinkle a little paprika over the fish.

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