About a month and a half ago, I made pasta with bottled tuyo (salted dried herring), one of my many attempts at Filipinizing pasta by substituting tuyo for the traditional anchovies. Well, I did it again, a couple of days ago but, this time, with flaked tinapang bangus (smoked milkfish). You will need more salt on this one since the tinapa is not as salty as the tuyo.
I used penne (or was it ziti?) pasta when I did pasta with bottled tuyo. This time I used spirals and my, oh my, all those grooves caught the bits of garlic and every piece of pasta was just as flavorful as it could be. So, there, my advice: use pasta with lots and lots of grooves in them. They’re better at catching the sauce and all those wonderful flavors.
Pasta with tinapang bangus (smoked milkfish)
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- While the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables. Coarsely chop the onions, dice the tomatoes, peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut the bell peppers into halves, remove the seeds, cut off the membranes, then coarsely chop. Chop the basil leaves as well. If fresh basil leaves are not available, substitute about one teaspoonful of dried basil.
- Open up the tinapang bangus. Using a spoon, scrape off the flesh. Discard the skin. Flake the fish, removing any remaining bones.
- Heat the olive oil and butter together in a sauce pan. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients except the flaked tinapang bangus, season with salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes or just until the vegetables start to soften. Add the tinapang bangus and toss. You will have to add the tinapang bangus last because, unlike the firmer tuyo, the fish will crumble if exposed too long to the heat especially with constant stirring.
- Finally, add cooked pasta to the tinapang bangus and vegetables and toss to coat the pasta evenly.
- Top with grated cheese before serving.
- Oh, you can accompany your pasta with tinapang bangus with toasted buttered pan de sal. :)