Crispy Barramundi & Fregola Sarda with Fennel, Raisins & Orange

Crispy Barramundi & Fregola Sarda

with Fennel, Raisins & Orange

55 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight, we’re dressing up crispy-skinned barramundi with the bright flavors of southern Italy. Fregola sarda, a toasted semolina pasta, takes on notes of licorice from sautéed fennel and pops of sweetness from golden raisins. To finish, we're making a sauce with fresh orange juice and a vibrant olive oil infused with garlic, oregano, and—for a spicy twist—dried chile de arbol, a petite Mexican chile.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    750 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook the pasta:
1 Cook the pasta:

Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly and transfer to a bowl. Stir in a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pot.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the pasta cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any fennel stems. Halve the bulb lengthwise; cut out and discard the core, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Roughly chop the pistachios. Peel the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, gently smash the clove once. Leaving half the oregano sprigs whole, pick the remaining oregano leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Halve the orange; squeeze the juice into a bowl, straining out any seeds.

Cook the fennel & finish the pasta:
3 Cook the fennel & finish the pasta:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the fennel and shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the cooked pasta, pistachios, and raisins; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan

Make the infused oil:
4 Make the infused oil:

In the pot used to cook the pasta, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and chile; cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Turn off the heat and add the whole oregano sprigs. (For a spicier dish, break apart the chile with a spoon.)

Cook the barramundi:
5 Cook the barramundi:

Pat the barramundi fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fillets, skin side down, and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until the skin is lightly browned and crispy. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, divide between the dishes of finished pasta.

Make the sauce & plate your dish:
6 Make the sauce & plate your dish:

Add the chopped oregano and orange juice to the pan of reserved fond (be careful, as the orange juice may splatter). Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat. Pouring through a strainer, add the infused oil; discard the garlic, chile, and oregano sprigs. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Top the cooked barramundi fillets with as much of the sauce as you'd like. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Cook the pasta:

Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly and transfer to a bowl. Stir in a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pot.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the pasta cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any fennel stems. Halve the bulb lengthwise; cut out and discard the core, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Roughly chop the pistachios. Peel the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, gently smash the clove once. Leaving half the oregano sprigs whole, pick the remaining oregano leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Halve the orange; squeeze the juice into a bowl, straining out any seeds.

Cook the fennel & finish the pasta:
3 Cook the fennel & finish the pasta:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the fennel and shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the cooked pasta, pistachios, and raisins; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan

4 Make the infused oil:

In the pot used to cook the pasta, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and chile; cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Turn off the heat and add the whole oregano sprigs. (For a spicier dish, break apart the chile with a spoon.)

Make the infused oil:
Cook the barramundi:
5 Cook the barramundi:

Pat the barramundi fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fillets, skin side down, and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until the skin is lightly browned and crispy. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, divide between the dishes of finished pasta.

6 Make the sauce & plate your dish:

Add the chopped oregano and orange juice to the pan of reserved fond (be careful, as the orange juice may splatter). Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat. Pouring through a strainer, add the infused oil; discard the garlic, chile, and oregano sprigs. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Top the cooked barramundi fillets with as much of the sauce as you'd like. Enjoy!

Make the sauce & plate your dish:
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