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Crispy Parm-Crusted Fillet of Fish and Bowties with Peas


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

  • 3 eggs

  • 4 tilapia or sole fillets (6 ounces each)

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs or crushed crackers

  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided

  • 1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped

  • 2 lemons, zested, then cut into wedges, divided

  • Salt

  • 1 box bowtie pasta, regular or whole grain

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

  • 1-2 tablespoons butter

  • 3 sprigs mint, chopped

  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 head butter lettuce, for garnish


Pre-heat the oven 250˚F.

Set up three dishes for breading the fillets: In the first, combine the flour with the Old Bay. In the second, beat the eggs with a splash of water. In the third, combine the breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, thyme and lemon zest. Dip each fish fillet first in the flour mixture, then the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place the coated fillets onto a sheet tray and reserve.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add some salt and drop the pasta. Cook to al dente, according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, pre-heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO. Add the onion and garlic to the hot skillet and cook until tender.

Pre-heat a large skillet with about 4 tablespoons EVOO and sauté the first two fish fillets until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Once the first two fish fillets, place them in the hot oven to keep warm while you cook up the other two.

While you are cooking up the fish, add the peas and butter to the skillet with the onion and garlic. Ladle a spoonful of the pasta cooking water into the peas, remove them from the heat and toss in the mint and parsley.

When the pasta is done, drain it well and return it to the pot it was cooked in. Add the peas and sauce to the cooked bowties, then season with a bit of salt and pepper and the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

To serve, place one or two leaves of butter lettuce inside each serving bowl, then fill the lettuce cup with some of the bowtie pasta with peas. Plate the fish on a separate large serving platter with lemon wedges alongside. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to