Comfort meets indulgence in this rigatoni with sea bass recipe. It serves up golden fish fillets drenched in a decadent tomato-based sauce, paired with tender pasta and juicy cherry tomatoes. This combination creates a restaurant-worthy dish that still carries the familiar warmth of a homemade dish.
As delectable as it looks, this rigatoni with sea bass is actually a one-pan dish that takes around 30 minutes to make. From casual dinners to fancy feasts, it’s an unforgettable main course that you can quickly whip up to impress the whole table.
How Healthy Is Our Rigatoni With Sea Bass?
Our recipe contains approximately 8.1 g saturated fat and 607 mg sodium in a 458-calorie serving, strictly following the standards set by our nutrition guidelines.
In addition to the moderate portions, this dish also uses nutritious ingredients. The sea bass has a decent amount of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids like DPA and DHA.
We paired the fish with loads of cherry tomatoes, which have amazing nutrients like lycopene and vitamins and a bunch of potential health benefits.
Ingredients for Rigatoni With Sea Bass
Here is what you’ll need to make this gorgeous pasta dish. Even though it’s an Italian-inspired dish, the ingredients are entirely familiar and quite easy to find:
1. For the Pasta
Sea Bass: This fish has a delicately sweet taste that’s similar to cod fish. It’s quite subtle, pleasant, and not overly fishy. You can easily make it more flavorful by adding a few seasonings and cooking along with other ingredients.
We used fillets to save time on preparation. Pick out slices with moist, clean, firm, and intact flesh. They should smell fresh and sea-like briny, as opposed to foul or unpleasant which could indicate spoilage.
Rigatoni: Our recipe uses rigatoni because this type of pasta comes with a sizable hole that leaves plenty of space for the sauce to glide in, making each bite incredibly flavorful and juicy.
If you don’t have rigatoni on hand, you can replace it with penne. However, it might not have the same mouthfeel since it’s slightly different in shape and size.
Vegetables: The cherry tomatoes make up the majority, bringing their delectable juiciness and sweet taste to the dish.
2. For the Sauce
Aromatics: Onion and garlic were added to fragrant the sauce and tie all the ingredients together.
Tomato Paste: The paste’s thick texture and intensely sweet flavor set the base for the sauce. It also pairs marvelously well with the cherry tomatoes, bringing together a tomato-centric dish that brightens the taste buds.
Chicken Broth: Instead of water, we used chicken broth to further deepen the sauce with its light and savory taste.
Dairy Products: We used milk, heavy cream, and a small sprinkle of parmesan cheese. The combination thickens the sauce’s texture and enriches its flavor. Feel free to use your non-dairy substitutes if you’re lactose intolerant.
Seasonings: We kept things simple and went with salt, pepper, and paprika. These foolproof spices work wonders in enhancing the flavors without overwhelming the palate.
Rigatoni vs Penne – What’s the Difference?
At first glance, rigatoni and penne appear quite similar because they’re both cylindrical-shaped. However, they’re different in many aspects. Here are some fundamental differences between these two pasta varieties:
Rigatoni is shorter but has a larger circumference than penne. Penne is narrower, longer, and more tube-like. Furthermore, rigatoni’s ends are square-cut while penne’s are slanted.
Their surfaces are also slightly different, with rigatoni always having ridges on the outside, while penne can either be smooth or have ridges.
Generally speaking, they can be used interchangeably in most dishes since their look and taste are relatively similar. However, rigatoni is preferred for dishes with thick sauces and cream because the large holes can absorb these ingredients better.
How to Store and Reheat
This dish should last for around 2-3 days when kept in an airtight container in the fridge. If possible, keep the pasta separated from the fillets to preserve their textures.
You can reheat this dish either on the stovetop or in the oven. Gently stir it over medium-low heat until it has loosened up. If reheating in the oven, place the food in a dish lightly wrapped in aluminum foil and heat at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.
Side Dishes for Rigatoni With Sea Bass
As hearty and filling as this dish is, it still leaves some room for a light and breezy side salad. Here are some suggestions for a side dish that you can serve with it to complete the meal:
Cook the Pasta: Boil the water, add the pasta, and check the package for cooking time. Gently stir every few minutes until al dente, then drain in a colander.
Prepare the Fillets: Remove the scales if there are any. Check for hidden pin bones and remove them with tweezers. Pat dry with paper towels.
Dice the Onion: Lay each half flat on the board and thinly slice it. Next, slice each half horizontally, then rotate the halved onion towards you and slice vertically again to chop into small pieces.
Mince the Garlic: Firmly press down with the knife’s flat side to crush the clove and remove the peel. Trim off the end, then thinly slice the peeled clove. Rock the knife back and forth over the sliced pile until it’s finely minced.
Chop the Parsley: Bunch the parsley leaves together and use a chef’s knife to thinly slice them. Then, using the knife in a rocking motion, chop the sliced pile once or twice, until they are finely minced.
Pan-fry the Fillets: In a pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 22 oz sea bass fillets to pan-fry over medium heat. Cook the skin-side for 7 minutes until golden, then flip over to the other side and cook for another 3 minutes. Season both sides with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper while you fry.
Add the Aromatics: Transfer the fish onto a plate. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 oz onion, and 1 tbsp garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the Tomato Paste: Add 1 tbsp Hunt's tomato paste and gently stir until well-mixed.
Add the Cherry Tomatoes: Add 6 oz cherry tomatoes and stir for 2 minutes.
Make the Sauce: Add 1 tbsp all-purpose flour and stir evenly till mixed, then add 1 cup unsalted chicken broth, 1/2 cup milk, 4 tbsp heavy cream, 0.25 oz shredded parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp paprika. Stir for 2 minutes until well-combined.
Add the Pasta: Add 10 oz rigatoni and stir for another 2 minutes, then take off the heat.
Serve and Enjoy: Transfer the sea bass and cooked pasta onto serving plates. Garnish with 2 tbsp parsley and enjoy hot.
How to Make Rigatoni With Sea Bass
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 458Calories from Fat 187
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 8.1g
Vitamin A 819IU
Vitamin C 15mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.
Rigatoni with sea bass is a delicious and healthy pasta dish.