Recipe courtesy of Ralph Pallarino

Pan Seared Braised Halibut in a Puttanesca Sauce Served with Gnocchi and Escarole

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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1 (10-ounce) halibut fillet, skin-on

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons

1 medium sized shallot, minced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley, cleaned, stems removed, and chopped

4 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, smashed with hands

1/4 cup rinsed capers

1 cup pitted kalamata olives, smashed

Gnocchi, recipe follows

Escarole, recipe follows


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, smashed and finely chopped 

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1 tight bunch escarole, cleaned and chopped 

1/4 cup dry white wine


1 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs 

1 pound ricotta cheese 

1/4 grated Parmesan 

Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Liberally salt and pepper the halibut. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized, non-stick pan. When oil is shimmering, place the halibut, skin-side down, in pan. Cook on both sides for 2 minutes or to desirable color. Place halibut aside. In a medium-sized saute pan over medium heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once it is hot, add the shallots, red pepper flakes, and parsley, and saute for 2 minutes. Then add 3 of the 4 garlic cloves, and cook another minute. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of the white wine and add tomatoes, capers, olives, and halibut. Cook on low heat until most of the liquid is evaporated and fish is firm to the touch. 
  2. To plate: Place escarole in center of plate; put halibut on top of escarole, then surround fish and escarole with Gnocchi. Finish with sauce as needed.


  1. Place olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small saute pan over medium heat. When the garlic starts to brown add roughly chopped escarole until wilted add a dash of salt and pepper and finish with white wine.


  1. On a clean cooking surface (cutting board) place the flour spreading it out to make a well about 6 inches in diameter. In the middle of the well place the eggs, cheeses, salt, and pepper. Stir mixture, then slowly incorporate flour to wet mixture until the mixture becomes cohesive. Continue kneading until dough is dry to touch (add more flour, if needed.) Cut small pieces of dough, roll out to make 6-inch rolls, 1-inch in diameter, then using a large chefs knife cut into 1-inch long pieces. When finished, add to a pot of boiling water, gnocchi are done when they float to the top. Drain.
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