Cooking From The Markets Part I
Penne With Smoked Barramundi, Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas and Tomato
When I was in Thailand, a.k.a the holiday from hell, I was trying out the spas in Phuket, allegedly for an article I was writing. I went up to the Banyan Tree, which had been awarded best spa in the world, for three hours of bliss (but the rustic Hideaway Spa in the foothills of Patong, was the best by far). Afterwards, I treated myself to lunch in the hotel's more casual restaurant, and had one of the most superb pasta dishes, which I still dream about. Penne with swordish and asparagus, in a light cream sauce. Having bought a whole smoked barramundi at the markets on Saturday, I thought I'd try to recreate this dish. Of course I didn't, but it was still a tremendous pasta dish enhanced by the smokey, meaty but not oily barramundi, that would be equally delicious in risotto, a salad, or as a pate.
While cooking the pasta, steam a bunch of asparagus sliced into inch-long pieces and/or sugar snap peas until al dente. Quarter a handful of cherry tomatoes. Flake a whole smoked barramundi and add to the cooked pasta, along with the vegetables, with a good splash of cream. Add some chopped chives as they go really well with these flavours. Season only with pepper, as the smoked barramuni is quite salty, and serve with shaved parmiggiana.