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Butter-Poached Halibut Sacchetti with Pickled Cabbage & Chives

This recipe serves 2 to 4.


Important note: Sacchetti will always cook unevenly. If you’re not a fan of some areas being a little more “al dente,” swap this shape for ravioli, mezzelune, triangoli, etc.


For the pasta dough

This amount of dough will yield approximately 25 sacchetti. You’ll likely have some leftover filling, so feel free to make a larger batch of dough if desired.


250 grams ‘00’ or all-purpose flour

50 grams semolina or semola rimacinata flour*

125 grams eggs (about 2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk)

25 grams (2 tablespoons) Kerrygold unsalted butter, melted and cooled

20 ml (2 tablespoons) water


Directions

Make the pasta dough by hand according to the “well method.” Alternatively, pulse the ingredients together in a food processor until the mixture resembles large couscous. Knead the dough until smooth, firm, and springy, about 10 minutes. Wrap tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.


*If semolina is unavailable, use the same weight in ‘00’ or all-purpose flour.


For the filling

350 grams (¾ lb) halibut or cod fillet, any skin removed

450 grams (2 cups) Kerrygold unsalted butter

1-2 medium shallots, peeled and cut into large pieces

1-2 sprigs tarragon (optional)

1 medium Yukon gold or other waxy potato

60 grams (¼ cup) crème fraîche or sour cream

5 grams (1-2 tablespoons) minced chives

Squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

  1. Cut the potato in half crosswise and submerge it in a pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. While still warm, remove the skin and pass through a ricer or mash with a fork. Spread the mashed potato out on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Weigh out 100 grams (⅔ cup) for the filling.

  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.

  3. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in an oven-proof saucepan that’s large enough to fit the fish but small enough to cover it by at least two thirds (you may need a little more butter).

  4. Add the shallot(s) and tarragon, if using, followed by the fish. Spoon some of the melted butter over the fish to coat.

  5. Transfer the fish to the oven for about 15 minutes (or roughly 10 minutes per ½ inch of thickness), until just cooked through. Allow the fish to cool slightly, then flake with a fork (be careful of the hot pan!). Note: Leftover poaching butter can be strained, refrigerated, and used for other seafood dishes.

  6. Add the flaked fish and the shallot pieces to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Then, in a large bowl, gently fold the fish together with the potato, crème fraîche, minced chives, and a bit of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the filling to a bowl or piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use.


For the pickled cabbage

This makes a decent amount of pickled cabbage so you can halve the recipe if desired.


180 grams (2 cups) green cabbage, thinly sliced

9 grams (2 teaspoons) sugar

6 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt

345 ml (1½ cups) apple cider or white vinegar (I used a little of each)

1 bay leaf and a sprinkle of black peppercorns (optional)


Directions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Place the sliced cabbage in a colander.

  2. Mix the sugar, salt, vinegar, and spices in a large air-tight jar or container.

  3. Slowly pour the boiling water over the cabbage until wilted. Transfer the hot cabbage to the pickling liquid and pack it in until submerged.

  4. Let the cabbage sit for at least 30 minutes (it will get milder with time). Leftover pickled cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days.


For the sacchetti

  1. Roll a portion of the pasta dough into a very thin sheet (setting 8 on my Marcato Atlas 150).

  2. Cut the sheet into large (approximately 4-inch) squares. Spoon or pipe a generous dollop of filling in the center. If the dough feels dry, add a little water around the filling area.

  3. Start to loosely gather the corners of the square together over the filling. Then gently pinch the dough directly above the filling pocket to create a little sachet. Rotate the filling pocket with one hand while continuing to press the area right above it to seal (try to keep the pressure light so it comes together but the “neck” isn’t too dense).

  4. Gently fan out the dough at the top of the sacchetti so cooking water can flow through. Place the finished pieces on a tray dusted with semolina flour or a dry dish cloth. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.


Finishing touches

170 grams (¾ cup) Kerrygold unsalted butter

1 lemon, zest only

5 grams (1-2 tablespoons) minced chives

A handful of the pickled cabbage, patted dry and finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and salt the water well. Brush off any semolina from the bottoms of the sacchetti and add them to the water (it’ll take a fair bit of time for them to cook, about 5 minutes).

  2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the lemon zest.

  3. When the sacchetti are nearly done, add a small ladle of the pasta cooking water to the butter and stir vigorously to combine until smooth and glossy. Adjust seasoning if needed and reduce heat to low.

  4. Check one of the sacchetti for doneness—they’ll always be a bit firmer where the dough has been pinched, but should be almost cooked through—then transfer them with a slotted spoon to the butter sauce and toss to coat. Cook the pasta for another minute or so in the butter.

  5. Divide the sacchetti among plates. Spoon over more of the butter sauce, then top with a generous amount of the chopped pickled cabbage and chives. Serve immediately and enjoy!


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