Necessity is the mother of invention (and idea theft). – John Dory with Fettuccine, Tomato and Basil

John Dory, Fettuccine, Pasta, Tomatos and BasilNo, I did not steal the fish. Though, the fish was a bit of a steal. John Dory fillets can be horrendously expensive. When one sees JD on restaurant menus it tends to be priced up there with the lobster and truffles. In my own experience, it tends also to be overcooked and pretty awful.

On my Saturday shopping trip, I saw that they were on special and I bought the John Dory thinking “These will be nice.”

Lovely John Dory fillets.

Lovely John Dory fillets.

That fleeting muse was as far as I got with it until at 7.00 PM the Wife asked “What’s for dinner? I’m getting hungry.”

“A surprise” was my blurted reply as I sprang from the couch and ran to the kitchen. An unfed Wife can be a pretty unforgiving creature. I checked the fridge, the John Dory, a few tiny tomatoes. Trouble loomed and just as fast, inspiration flashed across whichever cortex handles that sort of thing. I could quickly fix some pasta and cook the tomatoes. There were a couple of leaves left on the basil plant in the window. Hence John Dory with Fettuccine, Tomato and Basil. Time to rip off Stefan Gourmet’s quick and easy pasta. I cracked an egg into the mixer bowl and beat it.

Beat the egg.

Beat the egg.

Add the flour bit by bit

Add the flour bit by bit.

Change over to toe dough hook

Change over to the dough hook.

Wrap the dough in cling film.

Wrap the dough in cling film.

I put the dough in the fridge for half an hour and then let it settle. Then, inspiration. I asked the Wife to assist in the pasta making. She can’t be angry if she is involved in the cooking. Can she?

Yes, that's the Wife's hand feeding the pasta into the machine.

Yes, that’s the Wife’s hand feeding the pasta into the machine.

While that’s going on, I seasoned some flour with salt, pepper and sweet paprika.

That's youngest daughter's hand. You can tell by the yellow nail polish.

That’s youngest daughter’s hand. You can tell by the yellow nail polish.

I have no compunction about ripping stuff off as you can see. I blagged the clarified butter method from Stefan too. So I fried the dusted fish in this.

My clarifed butter. A straight rip of Stefan's.

My clarified butter. A straight rip of Stefan’s.

All that was left to do was the fry the fish in the butter and cook the pasta.

No time to heat the oven to cook the tomatoes. Into the pan with them!

No time to heat the oven to cook the tomatoes. Into the pan with them!

The paprika adds a lovely flavour and colour to the fish. I tossed the pasta in the pan before serving. For my final rip off of the day, I rip the remaining leaves from the basil plant and add just before serving.

I have to put a new basil plant on the shopping list.

I have to put a new basil plant on the shopping list.

The wine paring was pretty straightforward. I had a bottle of this stuff in the fridge. So, that’s what we had to drink with the fish.

A Christmas present, so I have no idea about this wine. Tasty though.

A Christmas present, so I have no idea about this wine. Tasty though.

I reckoned it would work with fish as there is a prawn on the label. It did.

Simple food from great ingredients.

Simple food from great ingredients. A rip-roaring success.

All done and served in less than an hour. A happy wife. Happy days. And, happy to rip off Stefan’s great ideas any time!

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Latest comments
  • That looks divine. I wish my cupboard-is-bare recipes were as exciting as this!

  • Ohhh yum!

    • Yes, I am happy it worked out. The new (replacement) basil plant is getting ready to give us it’s leaves.

  • What a delicious looking meal.

    • Hi Karen, thanks for your kind comment. You must put us on your back road plan one of these days. I would gladly cook this for you.

  • They say ‘Happy wife, happy life’! Lovely pictures and I especially like the look of the wine label.

    • I like that. It may not be entirely true but the reverse certainly is.

  • You’re a braver man than I, MacDuff. My mind would never have gone to “fresh pasta” in moment of duress for a quick dinner. Looks good! Ken

    • Thanks Ken. Extreme pressure brings out the best in us.

  • Well played. I like Dory.

    • A fantastic fish when not over cooked. They seem to always overcook it in restaurants. Or, perhaps, I am just unlucky.

      • Same problem w/ salmon, in my opinion. It’s almost always overcooked.

  • Fresh pasta is always a joy. As is your beautiful accompaniments and the Dory fillets. It’s getting cooler here and my pasta machine has been on overdrive too, looks like I’m not the only one!

    • Hi Alice,
      Yes, we had the joy of an extended winter and we got to enjoy more pasta than usual. One benefit of the extra cold weather.

  • Oh yum- that looks like my kind of meal!

    • Very easy and thankfully, very quick to do.

  • What a great bargain!

  • Lovely. Paprika envy!

    • Yes Rosemary, I love it. The sweeter, smoked variety works so well with fish.

  • this looks beautiful! I never actually had JD before. Love the wine label 😉

    • You have to try it if you can get it fresh. Very delicate and tasty.

  • Lovely dish. The best stuff comes from the simplest ingredients…

  • Mrs Bofin’s a lucky lady, even if you do get her on pasta duty occassionally. However, this isn’t theft, but rather imitation – the greatest form of flattery. And wisdom too, which cannot be stolen; it can only be shared. Lovely work as ever, Conor. A

    • Thanks Adam, and speaking of flattery, it will get you anywhere!

  • There was a time when homemade pasta made my wife wince with dread. It inevitably ended up with me making a mess of the kitchen then throwing a strop as it all stuck back together again… Sorted these day though 😉

    Very nice dish! I prefer the thinner filets like JD.

    • It gets easier with practise for sure. Well worth the little bit of trouble.

  • Your synapses must have been firing on all cylinders that night, because this is a very lovely meal to have come up with while staring at the inside of your fridge. Humbled as always, I am. And, I love to see that the preparation turned into a family affair.

    • Thanks Tommy, a rare occasion for the brain!

  • And now it is our turn to ‘rip’ you off! Terrific meal: yes, John Dory costs a ransom here also 🙂 ! Liked the look of the wine: Sardinian?

    • Somewhere in Italy is as close as I could get…

  • Great catch! Finding prize seafood on sale makes the dish even better, though the meal you prepared needs little help in that regard. Very nicely done, Conor.

    • Too kind as ever John. Very tasty all the same.

  • I like it when people use my recipes, that’s why I publish them in the first place 🙂 Fish is often overcooked in restaurants. This looks lovely! The vermentino is a great choice for a wine pairing. Most vermentino vomes from Liguria, but yours from Sardegna/Sardinia. I’ve never had one from there, but I imagine it to be more fruity and thus being able to stand up to the tomatoes. Great idea to toss the pasta in the pan with the fish juices. You could even deglaze the pan with a drop of ghe wine. This is Italian cooking how it should be: fresh ingredients, simple, and perfectly executed. Italians would serve the fish after the pasta, but who cares 😉

    • Thanks Stefan, kind words and great wine knowledge. The wine was indeed quite fruity and we really enjoyed it.

  • Home-made fettuccine… a man after my own heart! Gorgeous pics!

    • Thanks Lidia. I did the best with what was available.

  • Hello Conor! Thanks for stopping by again and liking my posts 🙂 I caught up with your posts too…glad to see you tried out home made naan, that dish looked really delicious! And so does this one, simple yet tasty looking 😀

    Will keep coming back for more inspiration. Cheers!

    • Thanks Sujatha,
      That duck looked particularly appealing. I enjoyed making the naans. A first time for me but not the last by far.

  • I love that basil plant. Mine looks like that except the leaves have gone yellow and dessicated

    • At this stage, the replacement plant is in the same state as yours. BTW, the Cycle4Life event that you so generously sponsored me in is on next Saturday. I really appreciate the help.

      • Hope you’re training. I’m looking at the Cross Trainer I purchased three months ago as I type this. It does see some action – the kids are trying to set speed records on it. They’ve got to 28 mph. I can do 22 mph and then I fell off. Not good. Not good at all.

        • Go at it. In a month, you will either be dead or trimmer. I manage to set off a speed sign doing 54 kph on the bike yesterday. I am getting too old for this. But, I love it.

        • By the way 2, I have fallen off one of them in the gym. Not easy to make a ‘recovery’,

  • We just got back from a cruise and I had a Tilapia that was cooked this way. It was delicious!

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