Puttanesca, an Italian relish, traditionally features briny olives, capers, cherry tomatoes, and sweet basil. We paired it with buttery Tilapia over a delicate bed of angel hair pasta to round out this simple and stunning dish.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coarsely chop garlic. Halve lemon. Halve tomatoes. Drain olives and capers and reserve juice. Slice olives into halves or quarters. Stack basil leaves, roll into a cylinder, and slice across the length of the roll, creating very thin strips (called a "chiffonade"). Chiffonade parsley. Rinse tilapia and pat dry.
Bake the Tilapia
Place the tilapia on the prepared baking sheet. Season both sides with a pinch of red pepper flakes (reserving half for the pasta) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until fish is firm but flaky.
Make the Puttanesca Relish
In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, basil, juice of half the lemon, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together to incorporate. If a tangier flavor is desired, add juice from capers and olives to taste. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Cook the Pasta
Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Put a colander in the sink. Add the angel hair pasta stir gently, and return to a boil. (For authentic "al dente" pasta, boil uncovered, stirring occasionally for 7-8 minutes. For more tender pasta, boil 1-2 more minutes.) Drain and set aside.
Mix the Pasta
Place the same (now empty) pot used to cook the pasta over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Once hot, add the angel hair, remaining red pepper flakes, juice of the remaining lemon half, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until the angel hair pasta is warm and coated with the oil and seasonings.
Plate the Dish
Compose a pile of pasta in the middle of the plate, twirling the angel hair upwards to give it some height. Lay a piece of Tilapia on top of the pasta. Top with Puttanesca relish. Garnish with fresh parsley and a crack of black pepper.