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TIP OF THE DAY: Pasta & Fish & Instagram

Everyone has heard of linguine with clam sauce, and pasta with mixed shellfish: clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp.

But how about fish?

This appealing dish of spaghetti with red snapper (photo #1) was created by Rickie Perez, Executive Chef/Founder of Logan Oyster Socials, a traveling oyster bar in Chicago.

The spaghetti is tossed with a fresh sauce of citrus and olive oil, and served with crisply-seared red snapper (skin side down).

Grilling is an alternative way to get the hearty flavor that marries the fish to the pasta.

Chef Perez uses a finishing splash of a spicy pineapple vinegar, a Puerto Rican condiment called pique.

It’s a simple blend of chilies, garlic, and spices, with a bit of pineapple added for sweetness. Here’s a recipe. You can make it and use it immediately, and can substitute pineapple juice for the pineapple rind in the recipe.

Don’t want to make vinegar? Use a splash of whatever flavored vinegar you have.

Chef Perez serves the dish with tostones, fried plantains (here’s a recipe). You can sauté bananas, or simply use a garnish or choice.

Here’s a different approach to red snapper and pasta, by Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos (photo #2).

Here, the seared snapper is de-skinned, then broken up and added to a tomato sauce.

October is National Pasta Month. Plan some pasta-and-fish combinations; perhaps you’ll discover a new favorite.

According to Datassential, the food industry’s leading market research firm, Instagram appeal has become a major concern for restaurant chefs and operators.

With more than 250 million posts, #Food is among the top 25 most popular hashtags on the social media platform.

Evidence of how this is shifting menu development is everywhere, says Flavor & The Menu, a leading trend magazine and website for chefs.

Instagram’s influence has forced restaurants to create more impressive presentations, over-the-top desserts and eye-popping cocktails.

“We used to eat with our eyes,” says Yury Krasilovsky, executive chef of pasta giant Barilla America.”

“Now, the phone eats first. [Restaurants] of all types to pay more attention to presentation.”

As a chef responsible for recipe development that Barilla offers to chefs, he keeps a keen eye on Instagram, looking at how chefs and home cooks have stylized pasta dishes in a striking manner.

“The most popular posts tend to be colorful, and either highly composed and stylized….,” he says.

“At the end of the day, it’s about appetite appeal: Food photos should make the viewer want to dive in for a forkful.”

But the photos only capture what’s put on the table. The creativity comes from you.


[1] Spaghetti With Red Snapper. It’s garnished with tostones and a squash blossom (photo © Barilla America).

[2] In this dish, the red snapper is crumbled and mixed into the sauce (photo © Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos | Cooking Channel).

[3] Rotini with peas and cubed swordfish. Here’s the recipe from Barilla.

[4] Casarecce with swordfish and eggplant. Here’s the recipe from Barilla.



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