Baked Tilapia & Creamy Kale with Fregola Sarda Pasta
Easy Cleanup

Baked Tilapia & Creamy Kale

with Fregola Sarda Pasta

45 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In this Sardinian-inspired recipe, mild tilapia (seasoned with classic spices), kale, and fregola sarda come together in one baking dish. For a golden-brown crust, we’re adding a layer of panko breadcrumbs in the last few minutes of baking. (You may receive green curly, dark green lacinato, or red kale.)

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    680 Cals (est.)
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Baked Tilapia & Creamy Kale with Fregola Sarda Pasta
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tips & techniques
Cook the pasta:
1 Cook the pasta:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until slightly tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the pasta cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves.

Dress the pasta & kale:
3 Dress the pasta & kale:

To the bowl of cooked pasta, add the garlic paste, heavy cream (shaking the bottle just before opening), cheese, lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add the chopped kale and stir to thoroughly combine.

Prepare the pasta & fish:
4 Prepare the pasta & fish:

Transfer the dressed pasta and kale to a baking dish, making sure the kale is evenly distributed. Cut the butter into 4 equal-sized pieces. Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the spice blend. Place the seasoned fillets on top of the pasta and kale. Top each fillet with a piece of the butter. Tightly cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Bake & serve your dish:
5 Bake & serve your dish:

Bake the prepared pasta and fish 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish is almost cooked through. Keeping the oven on, remove from the oven. Carefully remove and discard the foil. Evenly top the fillets with the breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned and the fish is cooked through. Remove from the oven. Top the baked pasta and fish with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Cook the pasta:
1 Cook the pasta:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until slightly tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the pasta cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves.

Dress the pasta & kale:
3 Dress the pasta & kale:

To the bowl of cooked pasta, add the garlic paste, heavy cream (shaking the bottle just before opening), cheese, lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add the chopped kale and stir to thoroughly combine.

4 Prepare the pasta & fish:

Transfer the dressed pasta and kale to a baking dish, making sure the kale is evenly distributed. Cut the butter into 4 equal-sized pieces. Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the spice blend. Place the seasoned fillets on top of the pasta and kale. Top each fillet with a piece of the butter. Tightly cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Prepare the pasta & fish:
Bake & serve your dish:
5 Bake & serve your dish:

Bake the prepared pasta and fish 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish is almost cooked through. Keeping the oven on, remove from the oven. Carefully remove and discard the foil. Evenly top the fillets with the breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned and the fish is cooked through. Remove from the oven. Top the baked pasta and fish with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy!