Rigatoni with Grouper

This recipe is inspired by a dish I had at La Rosetta, an upscale restaurant in Rome that serves only fish. It's expensive but charming, offering exceptional fresh fish simply prepared and a great wine list. To make our version, we used passata, which comes in bottles and is essentially Italian puréed tomatoes.


  • 8 ounces (250 grams) rigatoni
  • 12 ounces (375 grams) grouper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup fish or chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium)
  • Pinch sugar (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 12 basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces (60 grams) ricotta salata


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.

Cut grouper into 1/2-inch pieces and season with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add garlic and chili flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Add wine and let bubble for 3 minutes or until reduced by half. Add tomato sauce and fish stock and cook together for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste and add pinch of sugar if needed.

Add grouper and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until grouper is cooked through. Season with sea salt to taste. Add cooked pasta to skillet, stir in basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil. Grate over ricotta salata and serve at once. Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entrée.