Trout & Pasta
This Trout Broccoli Gremolata Pasta Bake is a delicious and fancy twist on a good old classic.
Although this dish is utterly delicious (You have no doubts, don’t you?), the name sounds a little odd to me. That’s probably because you don’t often see a pasta recipe which calls for trout. Salmon – sure. Tuna – certainly! Sardines – quite often.
I have no idea why trout is underestimated as a good pair to pasta. It is as good as salmon. Besides, trout has slightly fewer fats still having nice flaky texture.
When I decided to make a salmon/trout pasta, I immediately thought of mac&cheese. I have made fettuccine with salmon and creamy sauce many times so I wanted something different.
However, salmon or trout mac and cheese still sounded a little simple (Although I was thinking of mingling fish with shrimp for a more sophisticated combo.)
Trout Broccoli Gremolata Pasta Bake
I needed a tiny fancy nuance.
Here we go. Gremolata. Trout Broccoli Gremolata Pasta Bake to be!
Gremolata is an easy condiment made of herbs (normally parsley), lemon zest, and garlic. Also, you can incorporate some nuts. The version you will see in this recipe isn’t the authentic one, but it’s definitely delicious.
Trout goes well with parsley, garlic, lemon, and walnuts. Thus this was deemed to be a perfect solution!
As a matter of fact, I don’t like adding bread crumbs on my baked pasta. Practically, I don’t like them at all (Yes, call me a weirdo) except perhaps a very few dishes. As for my baked pasta, I prefer to get a crust by sprinkling top with extra cheese.
However, this time I thought about something that would bring an additional texture. As you already know, that was gremolata. I cannot say that it makes a perfect crust. It has a softer interior while having those beautifully crisp and golden crumbs outside. It’s definitely a good pair to a baked pasta. Yes, this recipe calls for quite a lot of garlic, but don’t be afraid of it. The creamy sauce and trout perfectly balance the garlicky gremolata.
To sum this up, imagine pasta coated in a rich creamy herbaceous sauce, mixed with a generous amount of flaky fish and broccoli, and then topped with a nutty garlicky gremolata? I almost fainted while writing this last sentence, my friends. And you? Not yet? Let me repeat it then.
Trout Broccoli Gremolata Pasta Bake. A must try this spring.
- 4 cups dried pasta
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 4 filet (125 gr. each) trout, skins off or on as desired, cut or broken into smaller pieces (Don't make too small pieces)
- 2 large leeks, white and pale green parts, sliced, washed, and drained
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme
- 1 tsp dried herbs de provence
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1,5 cups cream cheese (I used the mix of plain and herbs&garlic)
- 1,5 cups walnuts, toasted
- 1 cup flat parsley, packed, washed
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water as recommended on package but 1-2 minutes less until al dente texture. 1-1,5 minutes before the pasta ready, add the broccoli. Reserve some pasta water (about 1 cup), drain the pasta, and cool under running cold water.
- Make gremolata by placing all the ingredients in a blender for a minute or so. The mixture should be crumbly. If it's a little to smooth, add more walnuts. If it's too dry, add a little olive oil or water.
- In a meantime, melt the butter in large pan and saute the leek, until tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the trout and cook just 3-4 minutes until it's no longer pink. Off heat.
- Stir in the thyme, herbs de provence, cream cheese, and seasonings to taste (if needed).
- Combine the pasta with the sauce. Add some reserved water if it's too tick.
- Preheat oven to about 175-180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
- Transfer the pasta in a large baking dish. Scatter the gremolata over the pasta. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more. Increase heat and grill for a minute or so.
- Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.